Armenia’s three leading opposition parties said on Monday that they will again rally supporters in Yerevan on October 24 to push their demands for regime change and present a plan of actions for that purpose.
Levon Zurabian, a leading member of the Armenian National Congress (HAK) declined to elaborate on “concrete steps” which he said will be made public at that demonstration.
The HAK and the Prosperous Armenia (BHK) and Zharangutyun (Heritage) parties scheduled the next protest three days after holding a join rally in Liberty Square. Addressing a large crowd on their behalf, Zurabian warned President Serzh Sarkisian to negotiate his exit from power or face a “wave of civil disobedience.”
The HAK’s top leader, former President Levon Ter-Petrosian likewise demanded on Friday the conduct of snap presidential and parliamentary elections. He said at the same time that the opposition trio is ready to consider unspecified “reasonable” proposals from the Armenian authorities.
Zurabian insisted on Monday that the HAK, the BHK and Zharangutyun would only discuss with the Sarkisian administration a “handover of power.” He would not be drawn on what they will do if their demands are rejected.
Meanwhile, parliament speaker Galust Sahakian, who is also a deputy chairman of Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), said on Monday that the authorities see “no need” to embark on negotiations with the three opposition groups. He described their demands as confusing.
“It remained unclear to the public in which direction the opposition groups, which have joined forces will go,” Sahakian told reporters. “Each of them is dictating a separate direction.”
Sahakian emphasized the fact that Gagik Tsarukian and other leaders of the BHK, which is more influential than its opposition allies, did not echo the tough anti-government statements made by Ter-Petrosian and Zurabian on Friday.
Tsarukian said that he will speak up at the next opposition rally.