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Tsarukian Said To Aim For Election Victory


Armenia - Businessman Gagik Tsarukian speaks at an election campaign rally in Yerevan, 28Mar2017.

Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) insists on the conduct of fresh parliamentary elections and believes it can win them, a senior BHK figure said on Wednesday.

The BHK, which is part of the broader Tsarukian Bloc, backed the recent popular uprising that led to the resignation of the country’s longtime leader, Serzh Sarkisian. It also helped the protest leader, Nikol Pashinian, become prime minister and joined him in calling for snap elections.

“We all need to realize that there has emerged an unconventional political situation in the country which can only have one legal solution: pre-term parliamentary elections,” the BHK’s Naira Zohrabian told reporters. “Prosperous Armenia is ready to participate in them as early as tomorrow. But we also realize that we need to solve a number of legal issues before the elections.”

Zohrabian cited the need to modify the existing electoral system and enact more safeguards against vote rigging. Pashinian and his political team are also seeking such changes.

The 42-year-old premier has suggested that the general elections will likely be held before the end of this year. Zohrabian described this time frame as “realistic.”

Armenia - Opposition leaders Gagik Tsarukian (L) and Nikol Pashinian speak to reporters after a meeting in Yerevan, 2 May 2018.
Armenia - Opposition leaders Gagik Tsarukian (L) and Nikol Pashinian speak to reporters after a meeting in Yerevan, 2 May 2018.

Senior representatives Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), which still holds a majority of seats in the current parliament, have spoken out against the idea of fresh elections. The HHK is in a position to block their conduct.

Zohrabian made clear that should such elections be the BHK will “aspire” to winning control over the next parliament.She pointed to her party’s “political clout” and “great public trust in our leader.”

Tsarukian’s political force finished second in Armenia’s last three parliamentary elections held in 2017, 2012 and 2007.

Asked whether Tsarukian is now more popular than Pashinian, Zohrabian said: “Gagik Tsarukian is one of Armenia’s most popular politicians and I will be greatly surprised if anyone calls his approval rating into question.”

Tsarukian, who is one the country’s richest men, received five ministerial posts in Pashinian’s cabinet formed earlier this month.

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