The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) called on Wednesday for the formation of a “government of national unity” by all political parties represented in parliament, citing the need to implement “serious reforms” and overcome Armenia’s post-election political crisis.
Dashnaktsutyun’s decision-making Supreme Body in Armenia said the establishment party is ready to join such a government and urged the Armenian opposition to “use this opportunity to make the process of reforms in the country more comprehensive and full-fledged.”
The statement did not specify whether Prime Minister and President-elect Serzh Sarkisian too is ready to see any opposition group represented in a new coalition government which he plans to form after taking office on April 9. Sarkisian has said that it will comprise only representatives of his Republican Party (HHK) and three other parliamentary parties, including Dashnaktsutyun, that have recognized his victory in the February 19 presidential election. He is currently negotiating with leaders of those parties.
The fifth parliamentary force, the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party led by Raffi Hovannisian, has rejected the official vote results as fraudulent and strongly condemned the ongoing government crackdown on supporters of the main opposition candidate, Levon Ter-Petrosian. Dashnaktsutyun, by contrast, has defended the deadly use of force against thousands of Ter-Petrosian supporters who demonstrated in Yerevan on March 1. In a March 3 statement, the nationalist party called the protest an attempted coup d’etat.
The Dashnaktsutyun leadership’s latest statement stressed the need for the new Armenian government to strengthen judicial independence, eliminate “impunity” enjoyed by government-connected individuals, respect freedom of speech and form an “independent electoral system.” It said these and other reforms are essential for tackling “hopelessness, polarization, mutual intolerance” which the party believes is reigning in Armenian society in the wake of the presidential election.