Armenian opposition against itself – two recently elected parties enter into feud
The leaders of the Prosperous Armenia and Bright Armenia parties, which passed into parliament as a result of the elections on 9 December, have exchange a volley of criticism.
How it started
It all started with the election debates of the leaders of the political forces taking part in the elections.
The head of Bright Armenia, Edmon Marukyan, asked the head of Prosperous Armenia, Gagik Tsarukyan, why he, being a prominent businessman, was taking part in the elections. The question did not please Tsarukyan, who is one of the richest people in Armenia.
“I did not come to politics to get a position like some others do. Everyone knows what I started with and what I achieved. I have everything, and I achieved everything myself. I attract investors from different countries. I want to be useful,” the oligarch replied at the time.
In response, Marukyan nevertheless called for Tsarukyan to leave active politics and return to business. The leader of the Bright Armenia party also hinted that for many years, Tsarukyan and his political force had played the role of a fake opposition.
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A continuation after the elections
Following the snap parliamentary elections, the Prosperous Armenia and Bright Armenia parties both passed the electoral threshold into the National Assembly of the seventh convocation, behind the leader of the Armenian revolution Nikol Pashinyan and his My Step bloc.
Then, the secretary of the Tsarukyan faction in the National Assembly of the previous convocation, Vahe Enfiajyan, filed accusations against Marukyan. He said that Marukyan allegedly forged documents in the parliamentary elections of 2012 in order to be able to take part in the elections.
Enfiajyan also said that Edmond Marukyan’s “godfather” in politics is Mikael Minasyan, the son-in-law of the former President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan.
Marukyan and his associates once again stated that big businessmen should not be engaged in politics. Marukyan also believes that in the new political environment, there should be no place for the political parties of the old regime.
Marukyan further believes that there is large-scale harassment against his party and the reason for this is the skirmish that happened during the debates:
“Everyone had the opportunity to ask one question, and I asked Gagik Tsarukyan my question because the old system collapsed. The revolution was against this system of which Tsarukyan is a representative.”
After the elections, Marukyan again accused businessman Tsarukyan of allegedly playing the role of a fake opposition:
“You have disoriented all opposition forces, but you cannot [succeed]. This is another world. I asked a classic question that you can not digest. Instead, [you respond with] personal insults.”
The dispute between the parties has not yet ended and is likely to continue in the Armenian parliament. MPs will begin their work after the New Year.