The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) on Monday praised a major opposition party for deciding not to hold more anti-government rallies at least until the centenary of the 1915 Armenian genocide to be officially marked on April 24.
HHK spokesman Eduard Sharmazanov described as “positive” an announcement to that effect that was made by Levon Ter-Petrosian, the leader of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), on Sunday.
“April 24 will mark the centenary of the genocide and we must put aside parochial political and partisan interests and hold the planned events with honor,” Sharmazanov told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
“I believe that an escalation of tensions or conduct of rallies by any political force in the run-up to April 24 would not receive a positive reaction from our society,” he said.
Addressing an HAK rally in Yerevan, Ter-Petrosian cited high-profile events planned by the Armenian government for the genocide centennial. Some of them are expected to be attended by foreign dignitaries, notably French President Francois Hollande.
Ter-Petrosian’s decision contrasts with the position of the Founding Parliament, a smaller and more radical opposition movement that has pledged to topple President Serzh Sarkisian by April 24. It is still not clear just how the group plans to achieve its declared objective.
The Founding Parliament leader, Zhirayr Sefilian, dismissed Ter-Petrosian’s speech on Monday. “Our people are sick and tired of meaningless sensations,” he wrote on Facebook. “We need to build a national sate … as soon as possible. “To that end, we must first of all oust the ruling regime and establish the rule of our people in the country. We could lose everything in case of a delay.”