Top representatives of three leading opposition parties agreed on Tuesday to visit Armenia’s regions in preparation for their joint anti-government rally in Yerevan scheduled for October 10.
The Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), the Armenian National Congress (HAK) and the Zharangutyun (Heritage) party released a timetable of their rallies to be held in Gyumri, Vanadzor and six other towns from September 25 through October 8. The meetings there are aimed at drumming up popular support for their unprecedented demonstration in Yerevan’s Liberty Square.
The three parties will rally supporters in the capital to discuss the Armenian authorities’ failure to meet a list of 12 political and economic demands that were issued by them in June. They have not ruled out the possibility of launching a campaign sustained anti-government protests.
After a fresh meeting held in the National Assembly the parliamentary leaders of the BHK, the HAK and Zharangutyun again declined to clarify what they will demand on October 10. “At the heart of our common agenda will be the people’s demands and views,” Zharangutyun’s Ruben Hakobian said vaguely.
Hakobian did indicate, though, that the opposition trio will not be seeking the resignation of Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian and his cabinet. He argued that President Serzh Sarkisian is by far the most powerful man in Armenia. He also said that the opposition is campaigning for a change of the country’s political system, rather than individuals.
As recently as in March, the three parties as well as another opposition group, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), moved to seek a parliamentary vote of no confidence in the previous cabinet headed by Abrahamian’s predecessor, Tigran Sarkisian. The latter stepped down in April ahead of a joint rally planned by them. The rally was cancelled as a result.
Abrahamian is thought to have a warm personal rapport with BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian.