The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) confirmed on Tuesday that it has all but concluded negotiations with President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party (HHK) on extending their power-sharing agreement reached a year ago.
The two parties began negotiating on a new coalition deal shortly after the April 2 parliamentary elections won by the HHK. The latter expressed readiness to cut such a deal despite gaining the majority of seats in the new National Assembly. An HHK spokesman said late last week that the talks are “almost over.”
According to Armen Rustamian, a Dashnaktsutyun leader, the two sides will sign a corresponding agreement “very soon.” “It’s possible that this agreement on the political coalition will be signed this week,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
Rustamian declined to give any details of the impending deal, including the number of ministerial posts that will be given to Dashnaktsutyun. Nor would he say whether the current Armenian ministers for local government, education and environment affiliated with his party will retain their posts.
“We are negotiating on areas [of responsibility] and individuals, but since we have not yet reached a final agreement I don’t want to publicize anything beforehand,” he said.
Rustamian also dismissed media reports that the Dashnaktsutyun leadership has serious differences with Prime Minister Karen Karapetian. “There are no problems as such,” he said. “We are engaged in very healthy discussions, and I’m very happy that everyone has their views and an opportunity to assert those views.”
Dashnaktsutyun is represented in Karapetian’s current cabinet by the three ministers in line with an agreement with the HHK signed in February 2016. The party, which is particularly influential in the worldwide Armenian Diaspora, will have seven seats in Armenia’s 105-member parliament. The HHK, for its part, will control 58 parliament seats.