YEREVAN, April 28. /TASS/. Monopolization of power and underestimation of the opposition’s growing role were the main mistakes committed by Armenia’s ruling Republican Party, acting Justice Minister David Arutyunyan told a news briefing on Saturday.
"I believe that our underestimation, the Republican Party’s underestimation of the risks monopolization of power by one party can be fraught with became the main problem," Arutyunyan said. "It was our main mistake which we recognize. A strong opposition in the country spells strong government."
He said the monopolization of power was the main cause of protests and warned against repeating the same mistakes.
"We should not replace one monopoly by another one. The process must be politically inclusive to the maximum extent. We understand that this is the sole way of moving forward," he explained.
The speaker of the Armenia’s National Assembly (parliament) Arpine Ovannisyan said the authorities by no means approved of attempts at excluding the Republican Party from the political process.
"Each party must enjoy equitable opportunities at negotiations. We saw an ultimatum on one side. The government explained why they would not discuss any themes only on one side," she said.
Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan has said more than once that "a candidate from the people" must take the prime minister’s seat. If that does not happen, he warned, if the Republican Party nominates its candidate for prime minister, the Opposition will boycott the elections of the prime minster and block the parliamentary elections.
Armenia has seen a continued string of mass rallies by opposition supporters since April 13. On Monday, the protests forced Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan to step down. On Wednesday, the ruling coalition fell apart after the Dashnaktsutyun party decided to quit. The country’s parliament is to elect a prime minister on May 1.