Government Rejects Opposition Proposals

The parties met at Armenian Parliament

Ruling party representatives say proposals made by opposition are too harsh

YEREVAN—Senior lawmakers from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia on Thursday rejected proposals made by Armenian Revolutionary Federation and Heitage Party representatives during a meeting aimed at formulating an agenda for a proposed emergency session of parliament, which will address the post-election situation in Armenia.

As thousands continued demonstrations in Liberty Square to protest the official results of last week’s presidential elections, lawmakers met behind closed doors to discuss the emergency session.

The ARF and Heritage party representatives proposed a three-point agenda that called for new parliamentary elections this year and constitutional reforms that would make Armenia’s government a parliamentary one.

The ruling party representatives said that the proposals by the opposition were too” harsh.” The three sides emerged from the more that one hour meeting deadlocked, but pledged to reconvene Friday for further talks.

ARF parliamentary bloc chairman Armen Rustamian did not elaborate on the specifics of the discussion, saying that to delve into the substance of the discussions would hinder the process. He added that there are disagreements on the language of a proposed joint announcement, “but it is possible to find a common ground,” reported Yerkir Media.

The Republican Party parliamentary bloc leader Galust Sahakian said the authorities would not agree to new parliamentary elections calling the proposal absurd and saying that he had nothing to concede to the opposition, reported Yerkir Media.

“Your mean dissolve parliament? For What?” said Sahakian, adding that in the event of dissolution of parliament the Heritage Party would “topple its own house.”

Sahakian told reporters that his party also made proposals but did not elaborate on their specifics.

Meanwhile, representatives of the second largest faction in parliament the Prosperous Armenia Party expressed their opposition to new parliamentary elections, saying that parliamentary elections had nothing to do with the presidential polls.

While the Prosperous Armenia Party did not take part in Thursday’s talks for technical reasons, party officials said they were willing to be a part of the conversation.

“The parliament speaker has approached as our party bloc secretary and has informed me about possible discussion points. I have discussed these issues with Prosperous Armenia Party chairman Gagik Tsarukian and yes, we are ready to take part in discussion regarding post-election developments,” said Prosperous Armenia Party bloc member Naira Zohrabian, reported Yerkir Media,

Parliament Speaker Hovik Abarhamian had proposed convening an emergency session on Wednesday, but had said that debate would take place only if the main blocs represented in parliament agreed with the agenda.

He said the government was ready to consider “reasonable suggestions” from the ARF and Heritage. He said the government could offer ministerial posts to the Heritage Party.

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