Մատչելիության հղումներ

The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) declined to clarify on Friday whether it could reach a power-sharing deal with businessman Gagik Tsarukian’s alliance, the runner-up in the April 2 parliamentary elections.

The HHK spokesman, Eduard Sharmazanov, said the party’s governing body did not discuss possible coalitions at its most recent meeting held on Thursday. “We still have time,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “We should not deviate from our agenda. We will discuss it when the time is right.”

“The issue of forming a coalition with the Tsarukian Bloc is not on the Republican Party’s agenda at the moment,” he said.

Sharmazanov did not deny or confirm media reports that President Serzh Sarkisian and Tsarukian met earlier this week. “I can’t say if there was such a meeting because I don’t know,” he said.

The Tsarukian Bloc shed no light on its next political moves in a statement released on Monday. None of its leaders has made public statements since then.

Armenia - Businessman Gagik Tsarukian campaigns in Masis, 24Mar2017.
Armenia - Businessman Gagik Tsarukian campaigns in Masis, 24Mar2017.

Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), the dominant force in the bloc, was part of Sarkisian’s government from 2008-2012. It withdrew from the ruling coalition amid mounting tensions with the president that culminated in a bitter confrontation two years ago. Tsarukian was forced to retire from politics at that time.

Tsarukian announced his return to the political arena in January, fueling media speculation that his comeback is the result of a secret deal with Sarkisian. BHK representatives denied that.

According to official election results, the HHK won just over 49 percent of the vote and will control the majority of seats in the new parliament. The Tsarukian Bloc finished second with 27 percent.

“There are two options,” said Sharmazanov. “The first one is that the Republican Party forms the government single-handedly -- and it has a mandate to do that. The second option is a coalition government with shared responsibility. But we will discuss it.”

The official again indicated that the HHK expects to extend its power-sharing arrangement with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), which is represented in the current government by three ministers. The official results showed Dashnaktsutyun winning 6.6 percent of the vote.

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