The Armenian authorities will face a much tougher challenge to their rule if they continue blocking opposition initiatives in parliament, a leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) warned on Friday.
“Taking advantage of its status, the parliamentary majority is obstructing and impeding things,” Armen Rustamian told a news conference. “If all our demands are going to be rejected by the authorities, we will be left with only one variant for solving issues. Namely, regime change.”
Dashnaktsutyun as well as the two other opposition parties represented in the National Assembly and the opposition-leaning Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) have increasingly cooperated in the last few months in challenging the government on the parliament floor. In particular, they jointly tried to scuttle a controversial Russian-Armenian energy agreement last December.
A parliament committee controlled by them declared the agreement’s ratification by the assembly null and avoid. The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) responded by regaining control over the committee. The HHK-led majority in the parliament also rejected this week opposition demands for a parliamentary inquiry into the government’s murky dealings with Russia’s Gazprom gas monopoly.
“You can’t effect regime change just by calling for regime change,” Naira Zohrabian, a senior BHK lawmaker, said on Friday, underlining her party’s cautious stance. But she too spoke of growing cooperation among the four parties making up the parliamentary minority.
“The four political forces have been trying to set a common political agenda,” Zohrabian. “We have a number of very serious issues on our joint political agenda and are trying to move forward with small steps.”
“Some issues are still under discussion. When we finally agree on a package of decision we will present it to you,” said Levon Zurabian of the Armenian National Congress (HAK), a more radical opposition party.
The HAK, which is led by former President Levon Ter-Petrosian, plans to hold a rally in Yerevan on March 1 to mark the 6th anniversary of a deadly post-election unrest.