Did Sargsyan make Karapetyan join the party?

Did Sargsyan make Karapetyan join the party?

Armenia began to prepare for the election campaign, which is always accompanied by congresses of parties. The first among them was the 16th congress of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA), held in in the old Soviet-style, with everyone approving everything. Of all new faces in the leadership of the RPA Minister of Justice Arpine Hovhannisyan, Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan and Minister of Defense Vigen Sargsyan are particularly noteworthy. According to media, other members of the government also plan to join the Republican Party, in particular Transport and Agriculture Ministers.

Analysts believe that in the near future Karapetyan may become one of Serzh Sargsyan's deputies in the party. He gave this explanation to his decision to join the Republican Party: "Our government is the government of the RPA, above all. Which party can support radical changes? I believe it is the Republican Party."

Hasty decision of several ministers, and most importantly the desire of Prime Minister to join the RPA suggests that the President, as the most powerful and influential figure om the political board, has initiated Karapetyan's membership in the Republican Party, or simply made him do it. The next link in this logical chain was the statement about the fact that Prime Minister suffered a political defeat by joining the Republican Party. This approach is interesting because there are three options of how Serzh Sargsyan can stay in power when his presidential term expires in April of 2018: he can do it in the role of Prime Minister, speaker and head of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia, who with use the party to control both legislative and executive branches of power. Judging by the latest appointments in the government and a number of changes in the Republican Party itself, President may want to become the Secretary General. However the formula "Secretary General + Prime Minister" looks even more realistic.

Experts do not exclude the possibility that in the future Prime Minister may organize his own wing in the Republican Party, and after the parliamentary elections in 2017 or after April of 2018 he may push President into the background. 

It is evidenced by recent event - on the eve of RPA's congress about seven thousand people expressed their desire to join the ruling party! According to RPA's press secretary, vice-speaker of the parliament Eduard Sharmazanov, it is not associated the fact that Karapetyan joined the party. But it should be noted that the majority of those wishing to join the Republican Party are employees of "Gazprom-Armenia" , gas stations and "Electric Networks of Armenia." Despite Sharmazanov's statement that the RPA does not separate people by where they work, a conclusion can be made that the party may use new republicans for administrative purposes. Mass desire to become members of the Republican Party should have an explanation.

Republican Party of Armenia - 2015

Some analysts believe that the authorities wanted to demonstrate their immense capabilities. However we know from history that a huge number of people in the party is not necessary to achieve political victory. Meanwhile, the exact number of RPA members is not known. In addition, knowing RPA's inventiveness in the use of electoral technologies, it is possible that a new resource can be used for the benefit of authorities - perhaps to serve as observers at the elections or agitators for the Republican Party. But the quality of their work is unknown, especially since it is high likely that they were forced to join the party. 

To sum it up, it is not clear how the authorities will use this reserve. Perhaps new republicans will later become Karen Karapetyan's support in the RPA, since he headed "Gazprom-Armenia" for many years.

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Vestnik Kavkaza

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