The Armenian Revival party, a former junior partner in Armenia’s governing coalition, on Thursday did not rule out the possibility of reaching a new power-sharing deal with President Serzh Sarkisian after the April 2 parliamentary elections.
“We would join a coalition with any political force only if we have an influence on its decisions,” said Artur Baghdasarian, the leader of the party formerly called Orinats Yerkir.
Baghdasarian became a staunch presidential ally after finishing third in a disputed 2008 presidential election that formalized the handover of power from President Robert Kocharian to Sarkisian. Orinats Yerkir as well as the Prosperous Armenia (BHK) and Dashnaktsutyun parties joined a coalition government formed by Sarkisian after the ballot. As part of that deal, Baghdasarian was appointed as secretary of the president’s National Security Council.
Dashnaktsutyun and the BHK pulled out of the coalition for different reasons in 2009 and 2012 respectively. Orinats Yerkir followed suit in 2014. Baghdasarian complained afterwards that his party never had a real influence on key government decisions. Orinats Yerkir was renamed Armenian Revival a year ago.
While expressing readiness to cut a new deal with the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), Baghdasarian decried what he called widespread government corruption and embezzlement of public funds. Apparently pointing the finger at the HHK, he also alleged ongoing preparations for vote buying in the upcoming elections.
Although Armenians are overwhelmingly dissatisfied with the country’s leadership, many of them are ready to “take money and vote” for pro-government candidates, Baghdasarian claimed at a news conference.
Unlike Armenian Revival, other major opposition forces have ruled out the possibility of post-election coalition agreements with Sarkisian.
“We are prepared for all kinds of cooperation, but we will never enter into an alliance with the Republican Party because our differences are very deep,” Levon Zurabian of the Armenian National Congress (HAK) declared on Thursday.
Zurabian met journalists to name the leading election candidates that have been jointly fielded by the HAK and its ally, the People’s Party of Armenia (HZhK). The HAK’s leader, former President Levon Ter-Petrosian, tops the list, followed by the HZhK chairman, Stepan Demirchian, and Zurabian.