YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–Vazgen Manukian, a veteran Armenian politician, expressed readiness on Monday to closely cooperate with the newly elected President Serzh Sarkisian but insisted that he has not been offered any government positions in return.
“I am in opposition but will do everything to help this government become successful,” he said. “I would like to see correct appointmen’s in this government. I will definitely support them on issues of national security or reforms acceptable to us.”
Manukian was one of several prominent opposition leaders who refused to endorse former President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s, harshly criticizing Ter-Petrosian during the campaign and repeatedly recalling the latter’s hotly disputed victory in a presidential election held in 1996. According to the Central Election Commission, Manukian got just over 1 percent of the vote in the last presidential ballot, a far cry from his strong showing in 1996.
Manukian recognized the official outcome of the 2008 election and responded positively to Sarkisian’s offers to share power with opposition groups.
“I have seen Levon Ter-Petrosian’s presidency, he was a very bad president. But I haven’t seen Serzh Sarkisian’s presidency.” He cited the example of Nikita Khrushchev, the late Soviet leader who put an end to deadly government purges and eased other repressions after taking over from Josef Stalin in 1953.
The AZhM leader, who had served as Armenia’s first post-Communist prime minister from 1990-1991, approved of Sarkisian’s first ministerial appointmen’s.