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Lawmaker Leaves Tsarukian’s Party


Armenia - Gevorg Petrosian, a parliament deputy from the Prosperous Armenia Party, at a news briefing in Yerevan, April 1, 2019.

An outspoken lawmaker announced on Tuesday his decision to leave Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), citing differences with the country’s largest parliamentary opposition force.

In a statement posted on his Facebook page, Gevorg Petrosian complained about BHK leaders’ “lack of determination to make clear and timely political evaluations” of “illegal persecutions” and other abuses committed in the country.

“When I filled that gap and called things by their real name I caused inexplicable concerns among some of my colleagues,” he wrote vaguely.

Petrosian did not specify BHK positions or actions with which he disagrees. He said only that he will serve as an independent parliamentarian from now on.

Petrosian did not return phone calls later in the day. Senior BHK figures also declined to comment on his exit, which reduced to 23 the number of seats in Armenia’s 132-member parliament controlled by Tsarukian’s party.

Petrosian, 48, has strongly criticized the Armenian government and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian in particular for the last two years. But unlike Tsarukian and other prominent BHK figures, he did not deliver speeches at recent anti-government rallies held by an alliance of 17 opposition parties seeking to oust Pashinian.

The alliance called the Homeland Salvation Movement has scheduled its next rally for February 20. Tsarukian is expected to attend it.

Petrosian has already had a turbulent relationship with the BHK leadership in the past. He left the party in 2010 but rejoined it five years later. He was expelled from the party ranks in 2016 only to be elected to the parliament on BHK ticket the following year.

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