Vahan Hovannisian claimed that foreign powers are also pressing the Armenian government to improve its human rights record “for less than sincere motives.” “These pressures have significantly increased of late,” he told a news conference.
Hovannisian, who leads the party’s parliamentary faction, pointed to the European Union’s May 20 resolution demanding “the withdrawal of Armenian forces from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan.”
He said the alleged pressure results from the Armenian authorities’ tendency to make and enforce controversial decisions on various issues in disregard of public opinion and opposition protests. The international community now feels that they can “impose any solution” on Armenians, he said.
“Our authorities have failed to realize that they can have a strong position in the international arena only if they have a strong rear,” complained Hovannisian. “That is, a society trusting in the authorities. We don’t have such a society today.”
“Our authorities must realize that they have to listen to the voice of the opposition … that not listening to the opposition leads to deadlock,” he said, adding that by “opposition” he means Dashnaktsutyun.
Dashnaktsutyun left President Serzh Sarkisian’s governing coalition in April 2009 in protest against his Western-backed policy of rapprochement with Turkey. While condemning that policy, the nationalist party has so far avoided seeking Sarkisian’s resignation, a stance criticized by other, more radical opposition groups.