Vazgen Manukyan, the leader of the opposition “Homeland Salvation Movement” (HSM), will not participate in the early parliamentary elections, which will be held in the country on June 20, as it became known today, March 18. The former head of the Armenian government spoke to Factor.am about his decision.
According to Vazgen Manukyan, early elections may not take place at all.
“The elections held under (Prime Minister) Nikola Pashinyan will be a disaster for Armenia. But if they nevertheless take place, I will not take part in them,” Manukyan said.
Asked whether the BJP would continue its struggle for Pashinyan’s resignation on the terms of a united opposition (with the subsequent formation of a transitional government headed by Vazgen Manukyan and holding parliamentary elections a year after the start of the interim cabinet. – Ed.), the politician said that “we need to get together and discuss.
Earlier on Thursday, two of the three leading parties in the JEM – Prosperous Armenia and Motherland (not counting Dashnaktsutyun, which has yet to announce its decision on participating in the parliamentary elections within the time frame proposed by Pashinyan) – made it clear that they were ready to participate in the election campaign if the current prime minister remains in office as acting head of government.
Following the results of today’s meeting with the leader of the Prosperous Armenia party Gagik Tsarukyan (the party has the second-largest faction in the parliament), Nikol Pashinyan announced June 20 as the voting day.
Recall that since November 2020, when the republic faced a serious military setback in the Karabakh conflict zone, Armenia is experiencing a severe internal political crisis. The issue of holding early parliamentary elections in Armenia appeared on the political agenda of the Republic immediately after the war in Karabakh last fall. Late last year, Pashinyan announced the start of consultations on the issue, suggesting that the two opposition parliamentary factions, Prosperous Armenia and Enlightened Armenia, sign a memorandum with the authorities that if the prime minister resigns, they will not nominate their candidates for prime minister, leading to the dissolution of parliament and the scheduling of early elections. At the time, both opposition factions refused to sign such a memorandum, and Enlightened Armenia indicated that it would nominate its leader Edmond Marukyan to head the transitional government. The Enlightened Armenia party then removed this condition. The opposition united in the Motherland Salvation Movement (consisting of 16 parties) proposed former head of government Vazgen Manukyan as interim Prime Minister. The extra-parliamentary opposition rejected, however, the idea of holding early elections while Pashinian was in power. On February 25, the Armenian armed forces general staff led by Colonel-General Onik Gasparyan tendered the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.