YEREVAN (Yerkir)—The Armenian Revolutionary Federation will hold street demonstrations on January 12 when Armenia’s Constitutional Court is scheduled to hold hearings on the Turkey-Armenia Protocols, said the leader of the party’s faction in parliament.
Vahan Hovannesian, who serves on the ARF governing Bureau, announced the renewed protests at a press briefing Monday during which he outlined the various ways to derail the Armenia-Turkey protocols.
“We have received many applications and proposals to hold serious actions of protest on the eve of the announcement of the Constitutional Court decision,” he said. “Naturally, we were going to do that regardless of anyone and anything. But now, seeing that a popular wave is again rising, we can state for certain that there will be no calm in Armenia during those days.”
Hovannesian explained that the ARF will launch early next month a new phase of its campaign aimed at scuttling the implementation of the recently signed Turkish-Armenian agreements.
Speaking of the increasing weight of foreign pressure bearing down on Armenia, Hovannesian cited the phone call late last week by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to President Serzh Sarkisian immediately after the president forcefully rebuked Turkish preconditions on the normalization process.
He said Armenia had viable options, despite the pressure, such as amending the protocols without withdrawing from the negotiations. In the event that Turkey did not agree with the amendments, the talks would begin anew.
“We can safely say that Turkey is violating the agreements. We can proceed as the Turkish prime minister did when he said that the Turkish government cannot pressure the parliament to ratify the protocols. And I am sure in the event of a free vote the Armenian parliament would not ratify the protocols,” explained Hovannesian.
Hovannesian also said that even if the Armenian leadership withdraws from the talks, the ARF would not return to the ruling coalition. “One thing we saw is that our authorities are capable of making decisions without prior consultations.”
The ARF leader was referring to secret negotiations with Turkey. He added that until this style of leadership is reassessed the ARF would not be part of any coalition.