By Karine Kalantarian
Multi-party talks on the creation of a new opposition alliance with a distinctly pro-Western agenda for Armenia are drawing to a close and will result in an agreement soon, one of their key participants claimed on Wednesday.
“I can report that our negotiations are coming to an end and we will present our ideological base and areas of our cooperation to the public soon,” Hovannes Hovannisian said, referring to the ongoing consultations between his Liberal Progressive Party (AAK) and two other opposition groups led by former Prime Minister Aram Sarkisian and former Foreign Minister Raffi Hovannisian.
The three men appear to have drawn inspiration from the success of the Western-backed popular revolts in Ukraine and Georgia.
Hovannisian, who headed the foreign relations committee of Armenia’s previous parliament, refused to speculate on possible dates for the announcement of the alliance that would seek to bring Armenia closer to the United States and Europe. He had previously predicted that it will be unveiled in early January.
Representatives of Hanrapetutyun, one of the nine parties making up Armenia’s largest opposition alliance, Artarutyun, have been far more cautious and vague in their forecasts. The party is reportedly riven by internal disagreements over the wisdom of quitting Artarutyun. Artarutyun’s top leader, Stepan Demirchian, has warned Sarkisian against doing that, saying that the bloc still represents the best possible framework for opposition cooperation.
But Hovannisian, whose small party is not affiliated with Artarutyun, insisted that realignment within the opposition camp is the only way to effect regime change in the country. “We want to set up a new kind of alliance that will be based on a clear-cut ideology and a value system, rather than the situation that exists at a particular moment,” he said.
(Photolur photo: Hovannes Hovannisian.)