Editor’s Note: The Armenian Youth Federation Western US Central Executive issued an announcement on Wednesday regarding the days-long protests taking place in Armenia in opposition to the Tuesday’s election of Serzh Sarkisian as Armenia’s prime minister. In the announcement, below, the AYF says, “Civic participation is essential to return power to the people and hold the government accountable.” Also on Wednesday, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western US Central Committee issued a statement on the same issue.
The Armenian Youth Federation Western United States (AYF-WUS) supports the right of every Armenian citizen to peacefully protest and express their views.
In the past week, thousands have taken to the streets of Yerevan, discontent with the state of affairs in the country, primarily the ascension of Serzh Sarkisian to the post of Prime Minister.
The AYF-WUS, alongside concerned Armenians throughout our communities, continues to monitor the developments with a watchful eye toward the protection of the rights of all Armenians. We express our concern about violent clashes between police and demonstrators and condemn the use of excessive force.
Historically, the AYF has organized protests and acts of civil disobedience as a means of political expression. We fully understand the importance and efficacy of such direct action to engage the masses in critical issues. We wholeheartedly endorse the right to exercise the freedom of speech, assembly, and dissent as cornerstones of all mature democracies.
It is our conviction that Armenia’s future lies in the hands of the indomitable and incorruptible spirit of its citizens. We believe the new constitution and transition to a parliamentary form of government will bring about fundamental institutional change. These reforms, if properly implemented, will address the failures of the prior political system. Civic participation is essential to return power to the people and hold the government accountable.
It is incumbent upon us to work hand-in-hand, across borders and across generations for the betterment of our homeland. Nation-building is an ongoing, laborious, and arduous task that requires steadfast principle and active engagement. We remain committed to this process undeterred.