Ruling Party Denies Prior Differences with Torosian

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–The governing Republican Party of Armenia insisted on Wednesday that it did not have any differences with Tigran Torosian before the latter tendered his resignation from the post of parliament speaker earlier this week.

A party spokesman also said that Torosian, who cited %u218irreconcilable differences’ as a reason for leaving the post and the party, had not been heard to complain of anything and always voted along the party lines.

“I attribute it to the emotions, and the party takes it with understanding,” Eduard Sharmazanov said at a press conference. “Every politician expresses his differences by means of voting and the fact is that Tigran Torosian never voted against any decision of the party’s board in recent years.”

The Republican Party’s board on Tuesday unanimously upheld the conclusion of the party’s executive body that it is “inexpedient” for Torosian to continue as parliament speaker. The move was rationalized by the party’s need to increase the efficiency of the legislature’s work.

At the same time, the Republican Party named another senior party figure, Hovik Abrahamian, as its preferred candidate to succeed Torosian.

Earlier that day, Torosian called a news conference to announce that he was stepping down as parliament speaker and leaving the party.

He cited “irreconcilable differences with the parliament majority on a number of issues concerning the country’s domestic political life” as the reason for his quitting. Torosian also claimed %u218backstage party intrigues’ around his political career and advised some of his former colleagues “to take their 30 pieces of silver and continue on their way.”

Sharmazanov said the Republican Party does not agree with Torosian’s assessmen’s but added that his former fellow party members treat these expressions with understanding.

“There is a certain understanding because we all are people, not robots, and as a person he simply could not check his emotions. We think that in the course of time these emotions will subside and Torosian will have a more sober judgment,” Sharmazanov said. “As for Torosian’s decision to quit the party, naturally we regret it because as President Serzh Sarkisian said during his recent interview, the Republican Party did not have the goal of ousting Tigran Torosian or restricting his activities within the Republican Party, but intended to use Torosian’s knowledge and vast experience in another area.”

At the same time, Sharmazanov found it incorrect of Torosian to insult people with whom he has “traveled the same path for decades”.

“Labeling others does not give him credit,” the young Republican said.

During the press conference, Sharmazanov also countered the speculation that former President Robert Kocharian is setting the stage for a return to active politics as prime minister. He insisted that no such issue has been discussed by the party.

“Tigran Sarkisian is the prime minister today and no such issue [his replacement] has been discussed at the HHK. Moreover, the Republicans deem that Tigran Sarkisian is able to solve the problems that he committed himself to solving before the public,” Sharmazanov concluded.


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