YEREVAN—The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Monday reiterated the party’s support for prime minister candidate Nikol Pashinyan ahead of Tuesday’s parliament session, which is poised to elect the leader of Armenia’s popular movement to the country’s highest office.
Speaking at a press briefing on Monday at parliament, Armen Rustamyan, the ARF Bureau’s political chairman and member of the party’s parliamentary bloc said that the ARF will help the new government in implementing its program and work toward the strengthening of the new system of government ushered in 2015 with the adoption of the country’s new constitution.
“We do not expect to be in Pashinyan’s government, but we also do not want his government to fail,” Rustamyan told journalists. “That is why we will show [the government] our support. We will not leave him [Pashinyan] alone and will do our best to make [his government] succeed, since that would mean the success of the people’s movement,” Rustamyan noted.
Rustamyan then noted that Armenia’s parliamentary system of government should continue to develop and become further decentralized. “The powers of the prime minister should be limited,” Rustamyan said.
Rustamyan also noted that the new government should employ a new personnel policy, so that government posts are given to those most qualified. “There should be no feeling that one group of oligarchs is being replaced by another. Oligarchs have no place in parliament—let alone in government—where there is a direct clash of interests,” Rustamyan added.
When asked about the snap elections, which Pashinyan has said he will call, Rustamyan noted that the election must be called in a timely fashion, but that the vote should not be viewed as an end in itself.
“Certain steps must be taken to ensure that the [validity of the] elections are not doubted or put into question. First and foremost, the Electoral Code should be changed and monitoring equipment should be put in all polling stations to avoid vote duplication,” he said.
In regards to the future government’s foreign policy, Rustamyan noted that major changes should not be made, since certain policy shifts could end up putting the country in what he called “serious jeopardy.” All foreign affairs decisions, he said, must be in line with commitments Armenia has already undertaken.
Armenuhi Kyureghyan to Replace Aghvan Vartanyan
During his press conference, Rustamyan also announced that Armenuhi Kyureghyan will take Aghvan Vartanyan’s place as a secretary of the ARF parliamentary faction.
The ARF Supreme Council of Armenia announced on May 4 that former ARF Member of Parliament Aghvan Vartanyan had been dismissed from the party. The announcement came a day after Vartanyan officially resigned from his parliamentary post, following the ARF Supreme Council’s call for his resignation on May 1.
In his address to Armenia’s National Assembly on May 1, Vartanyan said that he would not vote for the sole candidate for prime minister—the “Yelk” faction’s Nikol Pashinyan—even though the ARF had announced that it would be supporting the opposition leader’s candidacy.
Vartanyan noted in his address that he was willing to step down from his parliamentary post for rejecting the party line
“The ARF Supreme Council of Armenia announces that ARF parliamentary faction member Aghvan Vartanyan’s decision was a personal one, which is not in line with the ARF’s official stance,” read a part of the announcement released by the Supreme Council shortly after Vartanyan’s remarks. “There has been a gross violation of [party] discipline, which will be investigated. Accordingly, the ARF Supreme Council of Armenia calls for Aghvan Vartanyan to step down from his parliamentary post,” the announcement concluded.
Kyureghyan was born on Aug. 26, 1963 in Vanadzor. She is a former Associate Professor of the Department of Information, Economic, and Mathematical Methods and Modeling of the Vanadzor State Pedagogical Institute (now Vanadzor State University) and a former member of the Vanadzor Municipal Council. She has been a member of the ARF since 2006 and was first elected as a Member of the National Assembly on the ARF national electoral list in 2017. She is the author of two textbooks and over thirty academic articles.