The leader of the Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP), Gagik Tsarukyan, during the PAP’s special session on March 5 announced that he has decided to step down from his position as leader and that he would be leaving politics for good. He recommended that the Naira Zohrabyan, the secretary of the party and member of the PAP faction in parliament take up the reigns of leader.
During the session, Tsarukyan spoke to his party faithful and said that despite the odds, they were successful in creating a powerful political party that had garnered the respect of people inside and outside of Armenia.
“Today, the moment has come when I have taken a decision to no longer be involved in politics, I am resigning from the role of leader and from parliament. This has not been an easy decision, it is the result of much reflection. This is my personal decision and I expect that you will understand,” Tsarukyan said and added that in all the years that he was involved in politics, he never pursued personal gain. “Throughout the years, I have pursued a simple, humane objective – to see smiles in the eyes of my people and not tears.”
Tsarukyan appealed to his supporters and said that he tried to find political solutions to all the problems the country was facing but he was never prepared to instigate a ‘maydan,’ and refused to take responsibility for any bloodshed that would invariably have followed massive protests.
“I am leaving politics. I will no longer be a party leader. But I will continue to be of assistance to my country and my people. This will be realized in other spheres and areas. I will continue to build churches, schools, sports stadiums, to help artists and scientists in my country. But I will do this as an Armenian, as a citizen of Armenia, as Gagik Tsarukyan.”
He requested from PAP members to no longer talk to him or discuss politics with him and said that he will not take part in any decision making. “I will have no connection with the Prosperous Armenia Party. In a short time, you will elect a new leader, new executive bodies, and the fate of the party henceforth will be in your hands. This is my final decision,” Tsarukyan said.
He went on to thank his now-former party members for their support and solidarity. In closing, Tsarukyan said, “There are many candidates who can take on the role of leader of the party. I recommend that we entrust that work to our colleague Naira Zohrabyan, taking into consideration her popularity and dedication to the team. The rest is your decision. From now one, everything is your decision.”