A short statement by the presidential office said the two men “discussed the existing situation in the country.” It gave no details.
Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) has the second largest group in the parliament. It is one of more than a dozen opposition parties that have been holding anti-government demonstrations since the Armenian side’s defeat in the Nagorno-Karabakh war stopped by a Russian-mediated ceasefire on November 10.
They want Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian to resign and hand over power to an interim government that would hold pre-term parliamentary elections within a year. Sarkissian has backed the opposition demands, saying that Armenia is in a “deep crisis.”
Sarkissian met earlier this month with Vazgen Manukian, a veteran politician designated by the opposition coalition as a caretaker prime minister. He has not publicly endorsed Manukian or anyone else for that role, though.
The president, who has largely ceremonial powers, has also held consultations with former Presidents Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkissian as well as parliament speaker Ararat Mirzoyan, a close political associate of Pashinian.
The prime minister has repeatedly refused to resign. Speaking to RFE/RL’s Armenian Service on Wednesday, he dismissed the continuing anti-government protests as an “elite revolt” not supported by most Armenians.
Some Pashinian allies have said that the ruling political team is ready to discuss with the opposition the possibility of snap elections. The BHK and its opposition allies insist that the vote must be held by the transitional government.