Party deprives Sargsyan of last power
Several deputies decided to withdraw from the former ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA), a source close the deputies said.
"All those MPs who intend to leave the RPA faction are prominent businessmen. They plan to announce their decisions as soon as possible.The Republicans will become the minority soon," TASS cited the source as saying.
Three deputies left the faction last week - Shirak Torosyan, Arthur Gevorgyan and Felix Tsolakyan, they were followed by Arman Sahakyan. Hakob Hakobyan can be the next leaving the RPA.
Now the Republicans have 54 deputy seats out of 105 in the parliament. If the parliamentary faction is abandoned by more businessmen, the RPA will be in the minority in the country's legislature for the first time in 19 years.
According to the Armenian media reports, Arthur Gevorgyan has already announced his withdrawal from the faction and soon seven more deputies, mostly businessmen, will also announce their withdrawal from the faction. Quite a situation: the Yelk, Tsarukyan and Dashnaktsutyun have 47 seats, and many bills can be approved with only 53 votes. If the outflow of MPs continues, the once-ruling RPA will become a minority party.
Member of the Tsarukyan's Bloc faction, Naira Zohrabyan, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the withdrawal of MPs from the Republican party was expected. "We had the same story in the 1990s - as soon as the ruling party misses power, deputies leaves it or enter a new ruling party. This is one of the perversions of our political system that should be removed. When we elected Nikol Pashinyan as prime minister, I said that I want Armenia to have such a political atmosphere in which it would be impossible for an MP to abandon his party in one hour and switch to another one," she pointed out.
According to Zohrabyan, such a fragility of the Armenian policy brings nothing but frustration. "The Republican Party is simply collapsing, which means that it was not a party of like-minded people, but a group of people united only by power. I do not presume to predict the future, but I can confidently say that by September we will have a political minority in the parliament in the person of the RPA. This will dictate new rules of lawmaking, because the parliament speaker and his deputies can not be representatives of the political minority," the member of the Tsarukyan's Bloc faction said.
She also stressed that there is no ideological background in the withdrawal from the RPA. "At one time these people were forcibly taken prisoner by the ruling party, and now they were freed from captivity. Those who consider themselves ideological Republicans have remained in the party, but there are very few such people," Naira Zohrabyan concluded.
The director of the Armenian branch of the CIS Institute, Alexander Makarov, also noted that each of the deputies leaving the RPA has its reasons to leave the party. "As for the RPA itself, after losing the majority in the parliament, it will continue to act as the largest faction. The exit of a number of deputies was expected, but even in such a form it will continue to enjoy relative advantage over other factions. But the process of obtaining the majority by Yelk, Tsarukyan and Dashnaktsktyun factions gets a new perspective," he said.
Alexander Markarov also pointed to the need to address regarding positions of the speaker, vice speakers and chairmen of the committees after the Republicans lose the majority. "Perhaps, there will be question of the redistribution of posts in the National Assembly of Armenia. As for the Parliament's work, first and foremost, it will continue making decisions initiated by the Government, the adoption of which requires votes of Pashinyan and his supporters. Possible changes to the Electoral Code will require additional voices that the RPA has - so there is a certain intrigue," the political scientist concluded.