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Dashnaks Plan More Protests Against Turkish-Armenian Deal


Armenia -- Vahan Hovannisian, a leader of the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation, holds a news conference on December 14, 2009.

Armenia -- Vahan Hovannisian, a leader of the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation, holds a news conference on December 14, 2009.

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) will launch early next month a new campaign of street protests aimed at scuttling the implementation of the recently signed Turkish-Armenian agreements, a leader of the opposition party said on Monday.


Vahan Hovannisian said the campaign will get underway ahead of the January 12 start of Constitutional Court hearings on the agreements’ conformity with Armenia’s constitution. “Our public will voice its views, its indignation during those days,” he told a news conference.

“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.”

Dashnaktsutyun, which was part of President Serzh Sarkisian’s governing coalition until April, already held a series of demonstrations in Yerevan this fall in protest against the Turkish-Armenian protocols which it considers a sellout. The nationalist party is particularly unhappy with Yerevan’s formal recognition of the existing Turkish-Armenian border and its acceptance of a Turkish proposal to set up a joint commission of historians.

Hovannisian reiterated Dashnaktsutyun’s view that the protocols do not envisage an unconditional normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations despite statements to the contrary made by the Sarkisian administration. He also said most Armenians are firmly against the deal.

Hovannisian could not say whether Dashnaktsutyun will be demanding Sarkisian’s resignation at the upcoming protests. Dashnaktsutyun leaders have said previously that they will campaign for leadership change in Armenia only if the controversial protocols are ratified by the Armenian parliament and come into effect.
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