Coalition Minus One: Absent Pap, Rpa, Orinats Yerkir Renew Deal Arou

By Siranuysh Gevorgyan

31.05.12 | 09:52


Armenia’s ruling Republican Party (RPA) and its four-year-long ally
Orinats Yerkir signed a new coalition deal late on Wednesday pledging
to back the joint candidate at next year’s presidential election.

The new deal leaves out the two parties’ partner in the previous
coalition, Prosperous Armenia (PAP), which refused to join the
coalition government this time around and is vague on whether it will
support President Serzh Sargsyan’s reelection bid in February 2013.

The PAP decided not to enter the new government after polling the
second largest number of votes in the May 6 parliamentary elections,
but still not enough to challenge the supremacy of the RPA that
scored a landslide and now controls an absolute majority of seats
(69) in the 131-member National Assembly. Orinats Yerkir, in contrast,
has only six members in the new legislature.

In their joint statement the RPA and Orinats Yerkir (who signed
the memorandum on the level of their leaders Sargsyan and National
Security Council Secretary Artur Baghdasaryan) said that the two
parties also assume the responsibility for “the political, economic
and social development of the country.”

“The political coalition reaffirms that at the upcoming presidential
elections it will field a single candidate, represented by President
Serzh Sargsyan, thereby expressing its political will and determination
to assume the political responsibility for the further sustainable
development, progress and security of the country, strengthening of
the international prestige of the Republic of Armenia. The current
agreement is effective for the duration of the powers of the National
Assembly of the fifth convocation,” the new coalition agreement reads.

The RPA has always stressed that the forces making up the coalition
should agree around backing the common candidate at the presidential
election. The PAP’s refusal to cut another power-sharing deal with
the RPA and Orinats Yerkir leads many experts to conclude that the
force believed to be the brainchild of ex-president Robert Kocharyan,
may field its own candidate in the presidential race.

Meanwhile, at the end of the RPA executive body’s meeting Wednesday
night the party’s spokesman Eduard Sharmazanov said that ex-parliament
speaker Hovik Abrahamyan, who officially managed the RPA election
campaign, would again be nominated to become head of the National
Assembly. His two deputies, he said, would also be RPA nominees
– himself and Hermine Naghdalyan. (Under the National Assembly
regulations, other factions may nominate their own candidates,
but given the overwhelming presence of the RPA in the parliament,
the installment of their nominees appears a foregone conclusion. The
first session of the National Assembly is due today, May 31).

Sharmazanov was vaguer on possible changes in the executive. He
said the party will discuss the composition of the new government
at its next meeting. Still, Sharmazanov said no essential changes
should be expected in the government, apparently hinting at the fact
that Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan will continue to serve as the
head of the Cabinet. The RPA representative also said that Orinats
Yerkir would keep its three portfolios in the new government as a
coalition member (agriculture, emergency situations and transport &
communication ministers).

From: Baghdasarian

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