Opposition Parties Shun Radical Anti-Government Protests

ARF lawmaker Armen Rustamian

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Armenia’s leading opposition parties represented in parliament made clear on Friday that they will not join nonstop anti-government protests in Yerevan planned by another, more radical opposition group.

One of them, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutiun), condemned the Founding Parliament movement for timing the start of its campaign to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey to be marked on April 24.

Dashnaktsutiun’s parliamentary leader, Armen Rustamian, said the Founding Parliament’s declared drive to oust President Serzh Sarkisian could overshadow the centenary commemorations and undermine the Armenian campaign for greater international recognition of the 1915 genocide.

Rustamian also urged the Armenian government to take “preventive” measures against leaders of the extraparliamentary group. “What if they organize an explosion? Shouldn’t they be caught?” he told reporters.

Senior lawmakers representing the Armenian National Congress (HAK) and the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) also ruled out their participation in the campaign. The BHK’s Mikael Melkumian, for his part, argued that his party is against anti-government “revolutions.”

“We ourselves set our agenda and initiate our actions,” said the HAK’s Aram Manukian. “We haven’t discussed such an issue. We haven’t been asked to.”

The Founding Parliament, which is very critical of the mainstream Armenian opposition, has yet to publicize the venue of its rallies and explain just how it hopes to topple Sarkisian. The group’s rallies held in Yerevan and other parts of the country to date have not attracted large crowds.


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  1. Harutik said:

    Despite their “nationalistic” rhetoric and lofty speeches about “democracy” and the “rule of law” Founding Parliament extremists are Western-financed troublemakers tasked with sabotaging the Genocide centennial and putting pressure on Yerevan for joining the Russian-led EEU. Simply put: They are our version of the Western-backed extremists in Ukraine that destroyed their country with their unbridled hate, political illiteracy and Russophobia. Unlike in Ukraine, however, there are very few supporters of Founding Parliament in Armenia. The groups comprises a small number of politically ignorant adults, naive youngsters, emotionally disturbed characters (i.e. Jirayr Sefilian) and a sprinkling of Western operatives (i.e. Igor Muradyan).

    I am not an apologist for President Sargsyan’s failed political policies, although the situation in Armenia is not nearly as bad as what the Western-led political opposition wants Armenians to believe. What I mean by that is this: Most nations on earth have “oligarchs” (i.e. monopolists) that are much worst than the ones that exist in Armenia. Corruption of all kinds exist in worst forms in most other nations, even in Western nations. And Armenia’s population-drain is the result of four fundamental factors: The 24/7 doom and gloom hysteria of the political opposition’s news media; typical Armenian otaramolutiun (the gypsy like quality in Armenians); the terrible economic situation in the south Caucasus which began as a result of the sudden collapse of the Soviet Union and more recently the global recession; and the fact that Armenia is a tiny, poor, remote, landlocked and blockaded nation stuck in the middle of predatory animals and in a virtual state of war.

    What remains crystal clear to me is that President Sargsyan’s administration is by-far the lesser of all the evils in the country. I say this because those waiting on the political sidelines in Yerevan to take advantage of any serious political unrest are Western and Turkish interests. If God forbid the Western agenda for Armenia proves successful, Armenia will cease to exist. Therefore, anyone in the Diaspora that supports Armenia’s Western-led political opposition is doing Armenia a great disservice. I suggest you people wake up from your American dreams and put aside your silly EUrotic fetishes and recognize that what Armenia needs is a sociopolitical evolution and not a Western-sponsored revolution, and what the south Caucasus desperately needs is Pax Russicana. At the end of the day, Armenia is too small and too vulnerable to make the kind of mistakes made by Serbians, Georgians, Ukrainians, Libyans and Syrians.

    • State-Of-Emergency said:

      Pax Russicana is an oxymoron. There has never been a time in history when the Russians were a force of peace, conciliation and unity. Their history is littered with domination, subjugation and conflict. Lest we forget the recent Soviet and Tsarist eras. Russia by its nature is an unstable and conflicting entity. They will never be perceived as being the beacon and champion for human evolution towards a just and democratic world.

  2. Charlie said:

    I wonder if any foreign powers are supporting such extreme movements?

  3. Jove said:

    The USA for starters, followed by its lap dog, the UK, . There are latent anti Armenian foreign inspired forces feverishly working to destabilize the country. Transcaucasia is prized plum coveted by western war mongers, their aim is to displaced Russia from the region. Armenia plays a pivotal role, particularly with her strategic alliance with Russia.