Gagik Tsarukyan announces his resignation as chairman of Prosperous Armenia (PAP)

Gagik Tsarukyan announces his resignation as chairman of Prosperous Armenia (PAP) –

Armenianow – Tycoon Gagik Tsarukyan announced his resignation as chairman of Prosperous Armenia (PAP) at an extraordinary congress of the second largest Armenian parliamentary party that took place Thursday afternoon. 

Naira Zohrabyan, hitherto secretary of the PAP’s parliamentary faction, was elected new leader of the party at the suggestion of Tsarukyan. 

Talking to reporters after the convention, Zohrabyan said the PAP will remain in opposition. She added that the party needed time to develop its new tactics. 

The change of PAP leadership comes less than three weeks after the founder and undisputed leader of the party Tsarukyan backed away from a showdown with President Serzh Sargsyan.

He had drawn anger of Sargsyan after effectively presenting an “ultimatum” to the current administration to give up the planned constitutional reform or face sustained street protests seeking its ouster. 

On February 12, the president and leader of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) branded Tsarukyan “evil” and called for his exclusion from the political process.

Tsarukyan bowed to government pressure within days as the PAP decided to withdraw from a joint opposition rally that was to have demanded Sargsyan’s resignation.

In a statement made available to the press today Tsarukyan also announced his retirement from active politics, saying that he backed away from struggle because he saw the “limit” of his abilities and did not want bloodshed in Armenia. 

Earlier, Armenia’s former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian also submitted an application to quit the PAP which he joined ahead of the 2012 parliamentary elections. Zohrabyan reiterated that Oskanian will retain his parliamentary seat. 

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