Former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian continued to criticize the state of affairs in Armenia on Friday, saying that the country is beset by a high level of income inequality and social injustice.
“Polarization existing in the Armenian society has reached an unacceptable scale,” Ohanian said in his latest video address posted on Facebook. “We badly need freedom and justice. Let us break through all barriers hindering our freedom and justice.”
“Enough with tolerating the concentration of the country’s entire resources in the hands of a small number of people,” he added.
Ohanian, who served as defense minister from 2008-2016, also deplored the modest incomes of most Armenians and public sector employees in particular. He said the state must ensure their “dignified and prosperous future” but did not propose concrete changes in the Armenian government’s socioeconomic policies.
Ohanian, who was sacked in October, has increasingly criticized the government since announcing late last year his decision to participate in the parliamentary elections scheduled for April 2. He has spoken of “growing public distrust of the authorities” and warned that Armenia will risk violent unrest unless it undergoes “systemic changes” as a result of the elections.
A leading member of President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) rejected the warning as “blackmail” earlier this week.
HHK representatives as well as other critics have pointed out that Ohanian is now attacking a government of which he was a key member for more than eight years.
Ohanian is widely expected to join a new electoral alliance that has been formed by four Armenian opposition parties. One of those parties is led by former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian.