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Ruling Bloc Lawmaker Spurns Kocharian’s Call For ‘Opposition Consolidation’


Former President Robert Kocharian attends a Court of Appeals hearing in Yerevan, July 24, 2019

A lawmaker representing the Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian-led ruling alliance has dismissed as ludicrous assumptions by imprisoned former president Robert Kocharian that early elections are inevitable in Armenia and that the current government will fail to be reelected in such elections.

In a recent interview with the Golos Armenii newspaper Kocharian, who is currently in pretrial detention on charges stemming from his alleged role in the 2008 post-election crackdown on the opposition, also called for consolidation of opposition groups to that effect. “The country needs a broad consolidation of healthy forces,” the ex-leader said. “In the fall the process of consolidation and formation of partnership in the opposition field will be completed and political struggle will acquire a systemic and large-scale nature.”

“I think that the issue of power will be decided in early elections. With such a quality of governance this government will not last long and has no prospects of reelection. Voters will be fed up with populists and will be more particular in their choice,” Kocharian stressed.

My Step parliamentary faction member Hrachya Hakobian, meanwhile, said that only individuals and groups left out of the current political processes or cut off financial sources can rally around a Kocharian-led opposition.

“Let all those who are rejected by our society join together to become one whole rejected group. It changes nothing. There is no risk in it, as our society remembers all too well what it had to go through during his [Kocharian’s] government… There is only one way for our society to become consolidated when it comes to Kocharian, and that is that he must be imprisoned for life,” the lawmaker said, adding that only individuals and groups who want to sink into political obscurity can have their names linked to Kocharian.

Hakobian also dismissed the former president’s assumption that Armenia will see early parliamentary elections soon. “I don’t know what books Kocharian reads in prisons and what dreams he sees there that he began to talk about early elections and even says that in such elections the current government will fail to be reelected. I want to understand what books he reads in prison. Maybe he was given a collection of fairytales there,” he said.

Hakobian believes that former ruling elites represented by former president Kocharian, his successor Serzh Sarkisian and other senior members of the former ruling Republican Party of Armenia have no chance of returning to power. “And not only in the near future, but ever,” the My Step lawmaker underscored.

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