The chief of the Armenian police, Vladimir Gasparian, insisted on Wednesday that Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and its opposition allies will not seek to topple the government with street protests.
“I’m absolutely sure about that,” Gasparian told reporters. “I think that everybody [in the opposition camp] is sensible and realizes that all kinds of unrest and revolution … cannot lead to anything good,” he said, commenting on joint anti-government protests that were staged by the BHK, the Armenian National Congress (HAK) and the Zharangutyun party this fall.
Asked to elaborate on his confidence, the police general said, “My job is such that I possess lots of information. I don’t waste police forces because apart from visible police service there is also undercover police service. I know who thinks what and breathes what.”
Gasparian, the national police chief, warned the three parties against destabilizing the political situation in Armenia with “unlawful” actions as he oversaw a demonstrative police exercise in crowd control in September. Leaders of the opposition troika rejected the warning, accusing the police of illegally meddling in politics. They went on to hold two large demonstrations in Yerevan in October.
Contrary to some expectations, those rallies were not followed by a campaign of sustained street protests. Unlike the HAK and Zharangutyun, the BHK remains reluctant to openly seek President Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation.