Serzh Sargsyan remains in power
Armenia's ex-prime minister Serzh Sargsyan will continue to be the head of the Republican Party, the possibility of changing the party's head is not being considered at the moment, the chairman of the National Assembly, RPA member Ara Babloyan said.
According to him, the party is ready for talks with new prime minister Nikol Pashinyan's government on reforms in the electoral system.
When asked about the possibility of making amendments to the Electoral Code of the country, Babloyan noted that different political forces have different positions in this regard, News.am reported.
But, in his view, democratic approaches and the protection of Armenia’s constitution require that all steps comply with the basic law of the country and that a precedent of unconstitutional actions is not established.
"If the political forces come to an agreement on making amendments [to Armenia’s election law], some steps need to be taken," the NA speaker said. He added that each and every political force has the right to its respective position, which, however, can change as a result of negotiations and discussions.
Ex-mayor of Yerevan Vahagn Khachatryan, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that despite the formal describing itself as the opposition and minority, the RPA headed by Serzh Sargsyan still has the majority of seats in the parliament and remains a significant political force. "After nominating any legislative act to the parliament, the RPA can block it, so everything in the parliament will depend on the political task set for the republicans by their leader Serzh Sargsyan. In reality, the RPA has no power over the people, our people support Pashinyan, but the formal majority still belongs to the Republicans," he said.
"The RPA said that it will not resist amending the Electoral Code, but I do not believe this. Everyone understands that after the electoral reform in the new parliamentary election, the Republicans will not get any votes. Therefore they will provide maximum resistance to the reform," Vahagn Khachatryan stressed.
According to him, Sargsyan remained in the office in order to prevent the party from dissolving. "Everyone understands that the RPA will not be able to survive for a long time, but they still hopes that after a while the people will change their attitude to the Republicans. Life has changed, people have felt the opportunity to live and work freely, without corruption and harassment from the authorities, but the RPA will not be able to change - so already at the next elections it will be outside the parliament and politics," the former mayor of Yerevan expects.
The deputy chairman of the Armenian National Congress party Aram Manukyan, in turn, considers keeping Serzh Sargsyan as head of the RPA a formal decision, which affects nothing. "Now it does not matter whether Sargsyan leads the party or not, the next generation of politicians will win in the next parliamentary election," he said.
In this regard, it is to be expected that amendments to the Electoral Code will be adopted without great difficulties. "For our part, we are ready to help the authorities reform the electoral system - we have a ready package of amendments and we intend to propose it to a working group in the government. In general, our proposals coincide with those they want to implement," Aram Manukyan said.