Armenia’s political leadership sees no serious threat to its hold on power emanating from nationwide rallies held by three leading opposition forces, a senior lawmaker from the ruling Republican Party (HHK) said on Monday.
Gagik Melikian, the secretary of the HHK’s parliamentary faction, insisted that Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenian (BHK) will not strive for President Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation and opt for nonstop rallies in support of that demand.
“There will simply be a rally in Yerevan on October 10. I don’t think that it will mark the beginning of a push for regime change because I see no grounds for that,” Melikian said, commenting on the ongoing campaign launched by the BHK and its more radical opposition allies, the Armenian National Congress (HAK) and the Zharangutyun parties.
Melikian claimed that neither the BHK nor the majority of ordinary Armenians wants to fight for regime change in the country. “The BHK is a more far-sighted political force, and it does realize that the public will not back such demands,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
Unlike the HAK and Zharangutyun, the BHK, which controls second largest faction in Armenia’s parliament, has until now stopped short of demanding Sarkisian’s exit. Still, its senior members are increasingly toughening their anti-government rhetoric in the three-party rallies that are taking place in various Armenian regions in preparation for Friday’s big demonstration in Yerevan.
“We want radical changes,” Mikael Melkumian, a senior BHK figure, told hundreds of opposition supporters in the southern town of Ararat on Friday. “If that means regime change, then we are in favor of it.”