The governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) said on Monday that it expects to extend its power-sharing agreement with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) despite winning a clear majority in the new parliament.
Preliminary official results of Sunday’s general elections put the HHK on course to win 55 of the 101 seats in the National Assembly, meaning that it will not depend on other political forces for support. Those include Dashnaktsutyun, which won 6.6 percent of the vote and will likely control 7 seats. It is represented in the current government by three ministers in line with a deal signed with President Serzh Sarkisian a year ago.
“We have not yet discussed details of a possible coalition but I find very logical the continuation of our cooperation with Dashnaktsutyun,” the HHK spokesman, Eduard Sharmazanov, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
“Our cooperation is strategic and long-term and it is based on programs,” he said. “We are stable and predictable political forces, and I don’t think that our cooperation is under threat.”
Dashnaktsutyun issued no statements on the election results and its post-election plans as of Monday evening.
Sharmazanov gave no indications that the HHK will also be seeking a coalition arrangement with Gagik Tsarukian’s alliance which finished second in the elections. The alliance also did not hint at such a possibility in a statement released earlier in the day.
Sharmazanov reiterated that Prime Minister Karen Karapetian, who conducted the ruling party’s election campaign, will retain his post. He also indicated that the composition of Karapetian’s cabinet is unlikely to undergo major changes as a result of the elections.
President Sarkisian, meanwhile, hailed the conduct and the outcome of the vote. “We have promised to build a stronger, more resilient and more rapidly developing state and we will build it,” he said in a statement issued on the occasion.
Sarkisian also stressed that the Armenian opposition will have “sizable presence” in the new National Assembly.
Opposition parties and local election monitors have denounced the elections as deeply flawed. They say that the HHK swept to a landslide victory through vote buying and abuse of its administrative resources.
Sharmazanov dismissed these claims, saying that vote irregularities were less serious and fewer than in the previous elections. He described the polls as a “serious step forward” in Armenia’s democratization.