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Opposition Party Hopes For Hung Parliament


Armenia - Bright Armenia Party leader Edmon Marukian speaks at a campaign rally in Vanadzor,June 16, 2021.

Edmon Marukian, the leader of the opposition Bright Armenia Party (BHK), insisted on Wednesday that it would not cut a separate power-sharing deal with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian or former President Robert Kocharian as a result of Sunday’s parliamentary elections.

Marukian said the LHK could only join a “government of national unity” comprising all forces to be represented in Armenia’s next parliament.

“Our objective is to achieve a government of national unity,” he told supporters at a campaign meeting in his hometown of Vanadzor.

“The balance of forces will depend on your voting,” he said. “No political force must get more than 20-25 percent of votes. In that case we would be able to proportionately form the government of national unity.”

“We rule out [separately] joining any of those two forces,” Marukian added, referring to Pashinian’s Civil Contract Party and an opposition bloc led by Kocharian.

The LHK leader deplored bitter accusations and threats traded by Pashinian and Kocharian and another ex-president, Serzh Sarkisian, during the ongoing election campaign. He said both sides are ignoring grave security and economic challenges facing Armenia.

“For several days running, apart from speaking of violence, the incumbent prime minister has been campaigning with a hammer,” complained Marukian. “Serzh Sarkisian has said that he will bang a truncheon on the head of anyone attacking him with a hammer, while Robert Kocharian had said earlier that he is inviting [Pashinian] to a duel.”

“Dear compatriots, you must evaluate the behavior of these people,” said, adding that such rhetoric could lead to post-election violent clashes between supporters of the rival camps.

Marukian’s LHK is one of the two opposition parties represented in the outgoing Armenian parliament. It garnered 6.4 percent of the vote in the last elections held in 2018. Some observers believe that the party will struggle to clear the 5 percent vote threshold for remaining represented in the National Assembly this time around.

In the current parliamentary race Marukian and his associates are positioning themselves as a viable alternative to both the current government and the ex-presidents’ blocs.

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