Some Armenian opposition parties expressed readiness on Monday to join forces ahead of next year’s parliamentary elections, while admitting that they are not yet close to forming such an alliance.
One of them, the Armenian National Congress (HAK), reiterated that the elections scheduled for April are an opportunity to oust President Serzh Sarkisian and his Republican Party of Armenia (HHK).
“The people should turn out and vote against the regime,” said the HAK’s deputy chairman, Levon Zurabian. “We will present a platform for which the people should vote.”
Late last month, the HAK issued a statement arguing that the Armenian authorities recently enacted a set of opposition-backed legal amendments that will make it much harder for them to rig the vote. The party headed by former President Levon Ter-Petrosian said it is ready to team up with other opposition groups “seeking regime change and the establishment of a legitimate government.”
Former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian, who leads another opposition party called Consolidation, also called for the formation of an opposition bloc on November 10. Oskanian made clear that he would not seek to top the list of the bloc’s election candidates.
Aram Manukian, another senior HAK figure, similarly said on Monday that no single party should be the dominant force in such an alliance. “The idea is to create an alternative, a center, an axis which can strip the Republican Party of its political monopoly,” he said.
Edmon Marukian, who leads a recently created opposition party called Bright Armenia, said it stands ready to strike pre-election deals with the HAK and other “liberal forces.”
There are no indications yet, however, that a broad-based consolidation of Armenia’s fragmented opposition is on the cards.
Zaruhi Postanjian of the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party made the point that opposition forces should not be bound together only by their antipathy towards the Armenian authorities. “If it’s announced that we are uniting just to topple Sarkisian and the HHK, I don’t think that will work,” she said.