YEREVAN, March 5. /ARKA/. Gagik Tsarukyan, Prosperous Armenia party leader, is leaving Armenia’s active political field, Alexander Markarov, a political analyst and the director of CIS Countries Institute’s Armenian branch, said Thursday at a news conference.
“If we speak about Gagik Tsarukyan’s role, we can presume that he leaves the active political life, but the different matter is whether Prosperous Armenia Party will receive the financial assistance it received from Tsarukyan before or not,” Markarov was quoted by Novosti-Armenia.
In his words, if the Prosperous Armenia continues receiving this assistance, the party will be able to remain on the political arena.
“But it, for sure, will have far less seats in the National Assembly and its influence on political processes will subside as well,” he said.
Markarov said that if Tsarukyan stops providing financial assistance to the Prosperous Armenia, the party members may go to other ordinary parties, which are many in Armenia, but they play absolutely no part in political processes.
The expert thinks that if so, the Prosperous Armenia will be a party with its own voters, several well-known persons, but it will lose the votes it had in the last parliamentary elections, since electoral process is a money-consuming business.
In February, discord between Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Gagik Tsarukyan escalated. Speaking on February 12 at a meeting of the executive board of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia, President Sargsyan lashed out at his former coalition partner describing him as ‘a scourge for the country who lacks intelligence, skills and education to govern Armenia.’ Sargsyan told Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan to instruct corresponding bodies to thoroughly investigate the veracity of “unverified reports” implicating Tsarukyan in large-scale tax evasion.
In retaliation to Sargsyan’s crackdown, the leader of the Prosperous Armenia Party said the following day that the current situation in the country requires solution and 'the only solution is a complete change of power through extraordinary presidential elections.'
Gagik Tsarukyan said also he was offered the post of president of the country but only after constitutional reforms that would turn Armenia into a parliamentary republic.
He claimed that the reform is aimed at enabling Sargsyan to stay in power after the end of his second and final presidential term in 2018.
Tsarukyan said he declined the offer causing Sargsyan’s anger.
Prosperous Armenia, Heritage party and the Armenian National Congress decided to stage a joint rally on February 20, but a little later the rally was canceled and Tsarukyan called on people to solve all their problems by peaceful means.
Prosperous Armenia is the second largest force in the parliament controlling 36 of 131 parliamentary seats.
It was part of coalition governments from 2007 to 2012. According to some estimates, Tsarukyan is the third-richest person of Armenia.
On February 20, the party and its key allies, the Armenian National Congress and Heritage, plan to hold a joint rally in Yerevan to press for Sargsyan's ouster. ---0----