Prime Minister meets with Edmon Marukyan; Political consultations to be continued
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan today met with Edmon Marukyan, the leader of the Bright Armenia faction of the National Assembly. Greeting Mr. Marukyan, the Prime Minister said: “I am pleased to see you. To be honest, your recent statement prompted me to continue the discussion on early parliamentary elections. I hope that at least this time we will be able to come to a common denominator not only with you, but also with our partners from the Prosperous Armenia faction, because if the parliamentary forces decide to hold snap elections and agree upon one or two important points, I mean the deadlines, we can consider the matter settled.
We believed from the outset that this political cycle should be resolved through the people’s will, I will be glad to hear your opinion on how to move forward. Let us agree in advance that we will not make a decision based on the results of today’s discussion as I am going to meet with the leader of the Prosperous Armenia faction, I will also hold discussions with the leader and the members of the My Step faction. The general political context is clear to the My Step faction. I have already discussed it with the head of the faction, and we will try to reach a consensual solution. We may discuss the situation with the President of Armenia, so that he could express his position and perhaps become the guarantor of the process.”
In turn, Edmon Marukyan said, “Thank you for responding to my statement. I would like to begin the conversation with my proposal. I made it considering the ongoing political crisis, which was exacerbated by the statement of the General Staff. In view of the above, I stated that in order to avoid further escalation, we should defuse the army-government conflict going to the polls as it seems to be evident that we cannot have any agreement on the pre-election process unless we settle the army issue. I am saying this because it is obvious that the Prime Minister will not resign in order to dissolve the parliament as far as there is a problem with the General Staff? This is the context of my proposal. I suggest dealing with the situation together and going to snap elections. We do not see any impediments concerning the polls, but I also agree with you that we need to continue the talks, because in case we fail to reach agreement at this moment, we may continue negotiating in order to find a final solution. We should also talk to the Prosperous Armenia Party on the matter at hand, since the crisis cannot be tackled without the PAP. Therefore, I agree that the consultations should continue with the PAP. Let us come to a new common denominator, no matter it works or not.”
Prime Minister Pashinyan considered it inadmissible to link the General Staff-related problem with the issue of holding snap elections. He evoked the constitutional norm, which stipulates that the Armed Forces should be apolitical.
Nikol Pashinyan and Edmon Marukyan agreed to follow up the consultations in an effort to settle the political crisis.