Armenia’s ruling coalition parties will jointly endorse Armenia’s incumbent President Serzh Sargsyan’s reelection bid, despite continuous rumors, that Armenia’s richest oligarch Gagik Tsarukyan and his personal-use Prosperous Armenia (BHK) party might be seeking to break off from the coalition.
A group of journalists covering the late evening board meeting of President Sargsyan’s Republican Party (HHK) on Wednesday entered the hall where the meeting was held and discovered that several copies of meeting agenda and supplementary documents were left behind.
“The political coalition will endorse a joint candidate, the acting president, in the upcoming presidential elections, thus creating guarantees for sustained reforms and ensuring the stable progress of our country in the next 5 years,” journalists read in one of the documents, which turned out to be the text of the new coalition agreement, which Republican spokesperson Eduard Sharmazanov said will be signed on Thursday.
Even though Serzh Sargsyan has not yet announced plans for reelection, Rule of Law (OEK) party, the smallest party in Armenia’s ruling political coalition, has already endorsed his candidacy.
There are no doubts, that Sargsyan-led Republican party will also unanimously support Sargsyan’s reelection bid.
HHK, by the way, enjoys comfortable majority in Parliament and doesn’t really need either of its two junior coalition partners.
There are already rumors, that BHK might be trying to back off from signing the coalition agreement in the last minute.
This is highly unlikely, however. Tsarukyan missed his chance of saying good-bye to coalition on Saturday.
Pressure on him has been building up for months already and the oligarch showed signs of despair at his party’s congress, hinting that he might eventually leave the political arena.
“If Mr. Tsarukyan feels at some point that he can’t live up to the trust and confidence of the people and his team, he will convene an emergency congress [of the BHK] and resign as party chairman with dignity,” he said at his party’s congress. “When a person can lift up to 50 kilograms, putting him under [a burden of] 200 kilograms would be a waste of time,” the former arm-wrestler added vaguely.
Not even Kocharyan
Tsarukyan has A LOT to loose from a confrontation with all-powerful Serzh Sargsyan.
He tested political waters by mentioning a couple of weeks ago his main business partner (if rumors are true) ex-President Robert Kocharyan’s name.
Angry HHK uproar followed.
In a rare move, Kocharian made a media appearance to back the tycoon. This fed into speculations, that BHK is refusing to endorse Sargsyan’s presidency because they’d love to see Kocharyan’s return to power.
But HHK’s cold response clearly showed who’s in charge. The fresh move to force Sargsyan’s endorsement onto Tsarukyan and BHK points to incumbent President’s determination to stay in power and not give in to pressure from Kocharyan, his long time ally.
Sargsyan and Kocharyan both came to Armenia from Karabakh and helped each other climb the power ladder.
Kocharian ensured transfer of presidential power via rigged elections in February 2008. Now, apparently, the two man have lost that long-time affection for each other. Sargsyan is determined to cling to power and he’ll do whatever it takes.