Prosperous Armenia Party claims it will not support any other candidate
YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Prosperous Armenia Party leader Gagik Tsarukian said on Wednesday that he will not stand as a candidate in the upcoming presidential election.
In a written statement, the Prosperous Armenia Party said Tsarukian announced his decision at an emergency meeting of the party’s governing body and parliamentary faction. It said this announcement led the meeting to decide that the Prosperous Armenia Party will not field a presidential candidate or support any other contender in the election scheduled for February 18.
The statement did not specify the reasons for the move given by Tsarukian. It said only that the tycoon thanked his allies for their “unconditional support and trust.”
Commenting on the development, Prosperous Armenia Party spokesman Tigran Urikhanian said Armenia’s second largest parliamentary forces is only keen to make Armenians better off. “No positions, including the post of president, can be a priority for us,” Urikhanian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). “Prosperous Armenia has other priorities and will not deviate from the path leading to them.”
“You should also bear in mind that the nomination or non-nomination of a leader is his personal decision,” he said, adding that the Prosperous Armenia Party decided not to endorse other presidential candidates “out of expediency.”
Tsarukian was widely expected to run for president until his unexpected weekend meeting with President Serzh Sarkisian. None of its details were officially made public.
Personally speaking, I was curious about what Armenia would have looked like under the rule of a powerful figure that, although feared, held a form of dubious respect among the general populace. With his withdrawal, I believe it’s a guarantee that the incumbent president will complete a decade as head of the Armenian state. Hard for change to occur when the ruling party has no real competition. Even in Canada and the States, there are 2 ruling parties that go head to head and bash one another like rams in heat during election time. Tsarukian would have given Armenia that particular advantage as well, pushing for the government to garner votes in fairer manner.
It’s like playing chess against yourself. You know all your own moves and have no incentive to do better. What’s the point of winning when there’s no one to defeat?