ARF leaves Armenian government, citing disagreements on Turkey policy (updated)
by Vincent Lima
Published: Monday April 27, 2009
The ARF was in the governing coalition that emerged from parliamentary elections in 2003. After the 2007 elections, it was a partner in government but not formally part of the governing coalition. In the February 2008 presidential election, it fielded its own candidate. After the post-election violence of March 1, the party agreed to enter the coalition, announcing that it was participating in a government of national unity to overcome the crisis, which, it said, threatened the independence and security of Armenia and Karabakh.
Party leaders have repeatedly said they felt they could be more effective advocating their views within government than they could be as an opposition party in Armenia's political culture. Now the party proposes to "become a full-fledged alternative to the authorities." It promises to reinvent the role of an Armenian opposition party, acting in a way that will "heal and crystallize the political landscape," so as "to form civilized relations between the authorities and the opposition."
In his April 27 press conference, Mr. Rustamian spoke of the president with respect, saying that he believed the president had good intentions but was taking steps that were ill-advised.