By Ruben Meloyan
Next week’s opposition rally in Yerevan will mark a “turning point” in the Armenian opposition’s year-long struggle against the government, a top ally of former President Levon Ter-Petrosian said on Friday.
Ter-Petrosian and his Armenian National Congress (HAK) alliance are due to again rally supporters and unveil a new plan of actions on October 17 more than seven months after the bloody suppression of their post-election street protests in the capital. According to Levon Zurabian, the HAK’s chief office coordinator, Ter-Petrosian will also make “very important revelations” in his speech.
Zurabian said the announcement of the new opposition strategy “will mark a turning point for the fighting people of Armenia and for ascertaining our further steps and achieving success.” “The people’s active participation is the most important prerequisite for our success,” he told journalists.
Ter-Petrosian has similarly expressed hope that “hundreds of thousands” of people will attend the October 17 demonstration sanctioned by the authorities. Only about two thousand of them turned up for the last opposition protest in Yerevan.
Zurabian dismissed talk of dwindling popular support for Ter-Petrosian’s opposition movement that attracted huge crowds before and after the February 19 presidential election in which the ex-president was the main opposition candidate. He said only “impatient” opposition supporters are growing disillusioned with the movement.
“Not only the number of our supporters is not declining but it is increasing day by day,” he claimed. “Those people who really voted for Serzh Sarkisian on February 19 … are now becoming our supporters because they see that reality does not correspond to his promises.”
Zurabian gave no details of Ter-Petrosian’s new strategy, saying only that the opposition is not setting objectives that can be achieved “in one day.”
The opposition pledged last summer to embark on a new campaign of “decisive” actions aimed at forcing Sarkisian to call fresh presidential and parliamentary elections.
(Photolur photo: Levon Zurabian.)