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Pashinian’s Election Offer ‘Still Not Discussed’ By Tsarukian’s Party


Armenia -- Prosperous Armenia Party leader Gagik Tsarukian speaks at an opposition rally in Yerevan, February 20, 2021.

The opposition Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) remained on Friday in no rush to respond to Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s offer to hold snap general elections.

Senior representatives of the party led by Gagik Tsarukian said it has not yet discussed the proposal aimed at ending the political crisis in the country deepened by the Armenian military’s demands for Pashinian’s resignation.

“We will refrain from voicing personal opinions about the issue until the [BHK’s] Political Council headed by Gagik Tsarukian discusses the proposal and presents our political position on it,” one of them, Iveta Tonoyan, told reporters. She did not say when the council could meet for that purpose.

Tonoyan also said that Tsarukian will not meet with Pashinian until the BHK leadership formulates its position. “A meeting between Gagik Tsarukian and Nikol Pashinian is not planned now,” she added.

Pashinian expressed readiness to organize fresh elections on Monday amid renewed anti-government protests staged by an alliance of opposition parties, including the BHK, trying to oust him over his handling of last year’s war with Azerbaijan. He said that their conduct is conditional on consensus among his My Step bloc, the BHK and the second opposition party represented in the parliament: Bright Armenia (LHK).

Pashinian and LHK leader Edmon Marukian met but failed to reach any election-related agreements on Thursday. Marukian said he insisted during the meeting that Pashinian must stop trying to sack the country’s top army general, Onik Gasparian. The prime minister rejected that condition, he said.

Unlike Tsarukian’s party, the LHK is not part of the opposition alliance that set up a tent camp outside the parliament building last week. The alliance called the Homeland Salvation Movement is scheduled to hold its next rally on Saturday.

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