Following his decision to return to politics, Gagik Tsarukian will again lead the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) founded by him, a senior member of the country’s second largest parliamentary force said on Wednesday.
“I think that Gagik Tsarukian will be reelected as party chairman at the upcoming [BHK] congress,” Lyova Khachatrian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) shortly after he and other senior BHK figures met with the wealthy businessman.
The meeting came the day after Tsarukian announced his political comeback in a televised speech. He said he will form an alliance to participate in the April 2 parliamentary elections but did not name any of his political allies.
Khachatrian likewise did not reveal non-BHK members of Tsarukian’s bloc, saying that there will be more clarity on the matter “in the coming days.”
Tsarukian resigned as BHK leader and retired from politics in early 2015 following a bitter confrontation with President Serzh Sarkisian. In his public statements made in recent months, he has refrained from criticizing the Armenia authorities.
BHK representatives have dismissed media speculation that Tsarukian is now secretly collaborating with Sarkisian. They insist that their party remains in opposition to the government.
Asked whether the BHK and Tsarukian are indeed seeking regime change, Khachatrian said: “We believe that we would do a better job of managing the country’s economy. If the people trust us, we will prove that. I don’t care whether you call it regime change or use another tricky term.”