Armenian businessman and former chairman of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) Gagik Tsarukyan today announced his return to active politics and intention to participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Any citizen of the Republic of Armenia is free to make a decision and take part in the elections. He [Tsarukyan] simply performed his political duties within his rights,” Gagik Melikyan, Secretary of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), said when commenting on Tsarukyan’s decision.
The Armenian tycoon left politics in February 2015 when Serzh Sargsyan reminded him of his nickname (Dodi Gago) during a sitting of the ruling party. Tsarukyan was also forced to resign as BHK chairman. Republicans immediately began to openly criticize the businessman.
“I do not think that he [Tsarukyan] was defamed by our party. Everyone is responsible for his actions, including withdrawal from politics,” the HHK representative said.
In his famous speech at the HHK sitting, Serzh Sargsyan also said that Tsarukyan, as a political actor, had become ‘an evil for the country.’“Whatever was said and announced had its grounds. Those are phenomena, and talks were about these phenomena. I do not think that such statements have ever been made about personalities,” Mr Melikyan stressed.
Does Tsarukyan’s decision mean that Serzh Sargsyan and his Republican Party have forgiven Tsarukyan for his unsuccessful attempt to join the opposition and thwart Serzh Sarkisyan’s controversial constitutional reform?
“I do not think that there is a need to remind anyone of anything; everyone is responsible for his actions,” the HHK member said.
While Melikyan does not exclude cooperation between his party and the BHK, he says the HHK will participate in the upcoming elections alone. “I think the HHK has good chances and we have always been at the forefront in terms of imposing a political agenda,” he added.
The HHK views the BHK and other political forces as its contender in the April 2 vote and will do everything to take the greatest number of seats in the new parliament,” Mr Melikyan sai in conclusion.
A Yerevan court today extended for another two months the preventive punishment of Aram Manukyan, a member of the Sasna Dzrer armed group that seized a police station in Yerevan in July,
Manukyan’s lawyer Harutyun Baghdasaryan says he expected the court to take such a decision. That was the main reason that his client did not show up in the court. The lawyer had visited Manukyan before the court sitting.
“What is the use of my coming?! The same thing happens each time. Aram does not believe that there might be any changes in the case hearing,” the lawyer said to A1+ Company.
Pavel Manukyan, one of the revolted Sasna Dsrer group leaders, and his son Aram Manukyan, were wounded in their legs in a shootout with law-enforcement officers in the territory of the seized police station on July 27. The father and his wounded son underwent surgery at the Erebuni Medical Center later but Aram was unable to walk for a long time.
Formation of political alliances at the pre-election period is quite logical, says Vigen Hakobyan, an analyst and political technologist. Anyway, it is not logical that we have only one alliance at this moment.
“At present, there is only one formal alliance – the Yelk which is likely to expand in the future. GALA is going to join the alliance,” he said.
A representative of the GALA party told A1+ Company that they have not taken a final decision yet.
It is the lack of resources that makes a political force enter into an alliance with other parties and although many have not expressed their intention to form alliances, the political technologist believes that future alliances will hardly be based on ideological similarities.
“In many cases, political forces involved in electoral processes realize that they do not have the necessary resources to resolve problems and decide to form an alliance with other forces,” Vigen Hakobyan said.
The Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) does not rule out that it may form an alliance with other political forces ahead of the April 2 parliamentary elections, Tsarukyan said today.
“I do not think there will be a real alliance. Some marginal political parties might want to join Tsarukyan but I do not think that it will develop into an alliance,” says Armen Grigoryan, another political technologist.
Speaking about the announcement of businessman Gagik Tsarukyan who said on Tuesday that he is returning to active politics, the political analyst said there was only one reason for the delay. “Tsarukyan’s comeback was not postponed by the demand of people, but by the decision of Serzh Sargsyan,” he said.
Businessman Gagik Tsarukyan announced on Tuesday his return to politics.
“Considering internal and external challenges and public demand for my return to politics, I declare that I am opening the closed page of my political activities and will participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections,” Tsarukyan said in a speech broadcast by his Kentron TV station.
During an annual press conference Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in response to a provocative question of an Azerbaijani reporter, said the implementation of military operations in Nagorno Karabakh is not Azerbaijan’s internal affair, Armenpress news agency reports.
The Azerbaijani reporter asked the Russian FM whether Russia would intervene in “Azerbaijan’s internal affairs” if the Azerbaijani side launched military operations in Nagorno Karabakh. This statement came as a cold shower for the Azerbaijani society. The response to a question over blogger Lapshin was also very clear.
Sergey Lavrov made a statement sobering Azerbaijan where he recalled that the conflict settlement has several options which were adopted by the UN at the hottest time of the conflict. Lavrov said the decisions define that the conflict must be settled without the use of force and with clarification of the final status of Nagorno Karabakh.
“This is enshrined in the documents prepared by the OSCE Minsk Group through the Co-Chairs, it is enshrined in numerous statements adopted by the Presidents of the co-chairing countries – Russia, France and US, as well as in the statements and documents adopted by the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan. The peaceful settlement of the disputes is enshrined there with no ambiguous meaning”, the Russian FM said.
He considered alarming the bloody events that took place in April, 2016. “Russia played a decisive role in stopping the bloodshed. We have agreed with President Sargsyan and President Aliyev at the meeting in Vienna, then Russian President Putin reached an agreement with them in June in Petersburg that taking into account the mutual accusations it is necessary to install a mechanism for investigating the incidents, to increase the number of OSCE observers in the line of contact. The necessity of investigation of incidents was also emphasized in 2011 during the meeting of the Presidents of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan in Astrakhan. Unfortunately, such simple thing, the investigation of incidents and increase of number of observers, cannot be implemented since there is no consensus yet”, Lavrov said.
During the press conference Lavrov also talked about the situation of Russian-Israeli blogger Aleksandr Lapshin who is arrested in Belarus. In the past years Lapshin visited the Nagorno Karabakh Republic for several times for which he was appeared in Azerbaijan’s list of unwanted people. Official Baku demands from the Belarussian leadership Lapshin’s extradition.
“We oppose the criminalization of any individual’s or reporter’s visit to any location of any region. We also oppose the extradition of arrested Russian citizens in any country to third countries. We have contacted Mr. Lapshin through the consul. We know that he is also an Israeli citizen and Israeli diplomats have also contacted him. We will take every measures to settle this situation by fully respecting the rights of the Russian citizen”, Lavrov said, adding they maintain contact with Lapshin.
Zaruhi Postanjyan, a member of the Heritage Party, says Heritage leader Raffi Hovannisian did not express the official position of the party when he announced on Monday that he might join two former government ministers – Seyran Ohanyan and Vartan Oskanian – in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
“A party leader, as well as its members, has the right to hold meetings, yet, it does not mean that he expresses the official stance of the party [he heads], because such decisions are taken by the relevant political body,” Postanjyan said to Azatutyun.am today.
Speaking to journalists on Monday, Raffi Hovannisian said Seyran Ohanyan has important government experience and could become the leader of the country. When reminded that both Ohanyan and Oskanian were involved in the deadly 2008 post-election crackdown on opposition protesters, the Heritage leader said, “Everyone was to blame for the 2008 bloodshed but the April 2 vote is an opportunity for them to go against their past path.”
Postanjyan announces that she will fight against the alliance or else Ohanyan and Oskanian must promise that they will stand trial after the elections.
She is not going to follow the example of Anahit Bakshyan and quit the party. The latter said she could not endorse the idea of teaming up with Oskanian and Ohanyan.
Only through preventive attacks can we suppress Azerbaijan and make it understand that we shall respond to their actions ten times stronger, Chairman of the National Security Party Garnik Isagulyan said on January 17.
“I think that Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh should take preventive measures, keeping in mind the fact that Azerbaijan will always resort to provocations. It will be good if our relevant services could determine the time of possible attacks and take preventive actions,” he said.
Speaking about the international response, Mr Isagulyan said the negative reaction of the international community is normal in such circumstances. “We are protecting the lives of our soldiers, and no one can blame us for it,” he said.
Mr Isagulyan believes that Armenia has made all possible concessions in the Karabakh issue and has nothing else to concede.