Speaking to scores of his supporters outside a courthouse in Yerevan where he attended his trial on charges of corruption that he denies as politically motivated, Sarkisian said that his Republican Party is a “competitive team” and that it will wage a struggle for a “strong national state.”
Sarkisian, who bowed to a popular demand for his resignation in April 2018 following sustained street protests led by then opposition leader Pashinian, said that after last year’s defeat in the war against Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh “the defeatist government must resign and people should elect a national government that will get down to enhancing the security of Armenia and increasing the prosperity of our citizens.”
“By my track record I have proved that I can easily give up my post in the name of the Armenian people, but I will never leave the trenches that defend the Armenian statehood. You can rest assured that the voice of the Republican Party will continue to be heard also in the future. Our actions will be clear, calculated, coordinated, purposeful and honest,” the former president underscored.
Sarkisian’s remarks came as Prime Minister Pashinian, following consultations with the parliamentary opposition, announced that early parliamentary elections in Armenia will be held on June 20.
Pashinian appears to have reached some sort of agreement with the two parliamentary opposition parties – Prosperous Armenia and Bright Armenia – that they will not field their candidates to replace him if he resigns to pave the way for the dissolution of parliament and the appointment of snap elections.
This would mean that after his resignation Pashinian will remain acting premier and his administration will oversee the organization of the vote.
In their previous public statements senior representatives of the Republican Party said that they will not take part in early elections if they are organized by the Pashinian government.
Party spokesperson Eduard Sharmazanov told media today that they will formulate their position on the matter after elections are officially appointed by the Central Electoral Commission.
In a February interview with the Armnews TV channel Sarkisian said that he would not seek any leadership positions in the future. He said, however, that he was ready to serve as an adviser.