Armenia’s Opposition Parties Plan Unified Protests

Protesters gathered at a Zharangutyun (Heritage) Party rally in Yerevan, Jan. 18, 2014. (Pohoto: Photolur)

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Armenia’s four main political parties challenging President Serzh Sarkisian agreed on Tuesday to stage joint rallies later this month in support of a vote of no confidence in the government sought by them in parliament.

Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and the three established opposition groups represented in the National Assembly will formally propose the motion of censure on April 28. The parliament controlled by the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) is due to vote on it two days later. HHK leaders have already made clear that they will reject the measure.

The parliament minority leaders announced after fresh talks that they will heighten pressure on the pro-government majority by jointly holding nonstop demonstrations in Yerevan on April 28-30.

Armen Rustamian, a leader of the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutiun), expressed hope that disgruntled Armenians will attend the protests in large numbers. “We believe in the wisdom of our people,” he told reporters. “We hope that they will see an opportunity to solve issues without upheavals and through a normal process. That is what led us to initiate these processes.”

Rustamian said the opposition hopes that the Sarkisian administration will understand that “it’s impossible to carry on like this.” “If they fail to realize that they need to give in, accept criticism, admit that we are really in crisis and listen to their opponents’ views on how to get out of the crisis, then things will return back to normal and this motion of censure will serve its purpose,” he said.

Both Dashnaktsutiun and the BHK have so far been careful not to demand President Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation, unlike the two other, more radical opposition parties, Zharangutyun (Heritage) and the Armenian National Congress (HAK). HAK representatives downplay these differences, saying that the resignation of Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan and the other cabinet members would pave the way for a “complete regime change” in the country. The four parties have increasingly cooperated in the parliament in the last few months.

The BHK, which boasts the second largest parliamentary faction, has not organized anti-government rallies since pulling out of Armenia’s governing coalition almost two years ago. Tsarukian, who is a wealthy businessman, stepped up his criticism of the government’s economic policies earlier this year.


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  1. Sarkis said:

    How much more obvious can these “opposition” traitors be about who their true masters are. The reptiles in Washington are furious at Armenia for supporting people’s right to self-determination in democratic regions such as Artsakh and Crimea to right the wrongs of the Soviet regime. The United States is furious that Armenia has not abandoned its righteous demands for recognition and justice for the Armenian Genocide from NATO’s regional minions in Ankara. The US and EU are raging over the fact that Armenia remains a traditional society where family values, Christianity and morality are still alive and well but gay rights, militant feminism and race-mixing internationalism are overwhelmingly rejected by the authorities and by the whole of Armenian society. The United States is livid that Armenia maintains friendly relations with Iran, and that the Republic of Armenia rejects the western-funded, westeren-armed, western-trained, and western-backed terrorists that are being sent from Turkey and who engage in ethnic cleansing against Syria’s peaceful Christian and Alawi minorities… And so the west has activated the psychologically-damages freaks in Armenia’s bought-and-paid-for “opposition”. The west is hoping for another bloody regime change in Yerevan, a repeat of March 2008 or the installation of a dictator in Georgia in 2003. Thank God Armenia’s government and internal security structures, fully backed by our strategic ally Russia and its unsurpassable intelligence and security forces, stand prepared to crush without mercy all enemies of the Republic of Armenia, whether foreign or domestic. It’s disgusting to watch these organizations of traitors and sell-outs openly planning mass unrest. The ones that have been screaming loudest about democracy apparently don’t believe in carrying out opposing policies via democratic means through their elected members in Parliament.

    All that being said, I would not mind seeing PM Tigran Sargsyan step down. He is too connected to western loan-shark institutions like the World Bank and IMF. Armenia needs a PM who serves Armenian interests and strengthens the strategic Russian-Armenian alliance, not a western-trained economist. Of course it is one thing to disagree with elected officials and work for change within the system; it is quite another, much more sinister thing to rally the peasantry within Armenia and exploit the growing pains of our landlocked and blockaded country in order to attempt to seize power through a violent coup d’état while the Azeris and Turks are waiting on the border for any sign of cracks within the Armenian state.

    As for the ARF, they are so quick to protest President Sargsyan as soon as Washington gives the order… But when western-backed terrorists reenact 1915 in Kessab the ARF does essentially nothing except “issue a statement”.

    • Armenian said:

      Romanticism all over the first half of this response. I wish you snapped out of your malaise and saw things for what they actually are, and not what you’d like to believe. How exactly is Russia going to “crush Armenia’s enemies”, by arming Azerbaijan? What you’re saying would be nice if it were true, but it is nonetheless still very obvious that Armenia can never develop under Russia, especially as Russia is now forcing Armenia to cut off its relations with other countries apart from itself, and because Russia depends on keeping Armenia cornered and helpless. It is so sad to see that so much of your adoration for Russia is based out of fear of “gay rights”, “democracy”, “free speech”; everyone you disagree with is a traitor and should be removed, basically. You need to realize that this isn’t the Third Reich and you can’t treat people in any society the way you do and expect for it thrive; on the contrary, it will regress, just as Putin’s Russia will eventually regress and collapse.

      If you adore Russia so much, I suggest you leave your western home and move to a nice apartment in Moscow. Everybody, especially Armenians, apparently, have a very bright future there, according to you. With all of the support you do for that country, giving you a free place to stay would be the least they could do for you.

      • Sarkis said:

        -No, my comment is based on real observations, not romanticism and romantic fantasies.

        -Russia will crush Armenia’s enemies as it crushed Turkey at Sarikamish in 1994 and in Tblisi in 2008, and the FSB and GRU hopefully will finish off the dangerous traitors within Armenia.

        -I’m glad you think it would be nice if it were true, because it is true. And I agree, the Russian-Armenian alliance is nice, but the pernicious actions and threat posed by the west unfortunately makes the region far from nice. I suggest you snap out of you malaise.

        -Russia is not forcing Armenia to cut any relations, if anything Russia is strengthening Armenia so it can deal with our arch enemy Turkey and their backers in NATO from a position of strength. It is the EU that decided to issue ultimatums to Armenia because it is quite obvious association agreements are political in nature, not economic.

        -My adoration of Russia is based on the historic Russo-Armenian friendship that has stood strong in the face of our Turkish, German and Anglo-American-Zionist enemies for over two centuries; as well as the current Russia-Armenia strategic alliance that provides Armenia with economic development opportunities and military security.

        -I don’t “fear” gay rights, democracy or free speech. I stand opposed to immorality and suicidal policies which can only lead to decay.

        -I only demand that traitors to the Armenian state, those calling for its destruction or subjugation to the western-turkish alliance be destroyed. I don’t care if anyone disagrees with my on economic policies or domestic matters like the exact role of the Church or zoning vioations or policies on developing the Armenian language or orthography. It is the traitors in the Armenian opposition who fail to achieve their radical agendas through democratic means, so they try for mass unrest and regime change through blood and violence.

        -Putin actually saved Russia from collapse. The west’s future, however, certainly includes a major crash.

        -Thanks for the advice, I do have repatriation to Armenia in mind. While I love Russia, I would like to be an Armenian. It is easier said than done though, because for reasons beyond my control, I was born and raised in the west.

        -“Everybody has a bright future” seems to imply a utopia, which is what you think of the west and its new global religion known as democracy. I said Armenia and Russia have bright futures, based on steady economic development, social, cultural andspiritual restoration, reversal of negative dempgraphic trends. The west on the other hand has gay rates, atrociously low birth rates, and of course mass Turkish, Muslim, African and Hispanic immigration.

        -I merely spread the truth, I do it to give Armenians who visit these pages an antidote for the vile posion and racist Russophobia that is spread here.

        Anything else?

        • Sarkis said:

          Correction: I meant the defeat of Turks at Sarikamish in 1914, not 1994.

    • GeorgeMardig said:

      I AGREE, and the Hypocrisy of the West has NO limits, after 100 years they havn’t recognized the Armenian Genocide and ask Turkey to returnd the Western Armenia, Properties and Compensation

  2. Armenian said:

    I’m optimistic that something will change there, and hopefully for the better. The Republican Party of Armenia is increasingly proving that it is a treacherous organization that is contributing to Armenia’s destruction from within.

    • Armanen said:

      Your comments never fail to amaze me. Instead of attacking the Armenian government how about you focus more on the actions of the US and its western allies in supporting terrorists in Syria. These terrorists are destroying Armenian properties and performing ethnic cleansing operations at the behest of the Turks.

  3. GeorgeMardig said:

    The West is expecting a revolt to destroy Armenia from within