The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) on Wednesday warned former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian and his opposition allies against seeking a violent overthrow of the government.
Ohanian said on Tuesday that his ORO alliance and other opposition groups must be prepared for “developments outside the parliament that could lead to a force majeure situation.” He seemed to allude to the possibility of future anti-government protests in Yerevan.
Commenting on those remarks, Vahram Baghdasarian, the HHK’s parliamentary leader, said: “We are ready for cooperation with the healthy opposition, whether parliamentary or extraparliamentary, if they come up with proposals on development of the state. But if they have different objectives -- to achieve something through a rebellion or a revolution -- the [April 2 parliamentary] elections showed what they can achieve.”
“No state, especially the one faced with such an external political situation, will allow internal political upheavals,” Baghdasarian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
“Frankly, if I had no respect for that person I would not comment [on his statements,]” he said. “But we have worked together and pursued the same goals with that person for many years. Therefore, I will just say: let’s wait for political developments.”
According to the Central of Election Commission (CEC), the ORO bloc co-headed by Ohanian, Vartan Oskanian and Raffi Hovannisian polled only 2 percent of the vote and failed to win any seats in Armenia’s new parliament. The bloc rejected the official vote results as fraudulent. Ohanian insisted on Tuesday that the elections were rigged.
Baghdasarian dismissed the claim as an excuse for ORO’s poor election performance. He said the fact that this and other opposition groups refrained from staging post-election street protests means that “everyone agrees with the election results.”
The United States and the European Union gave largely positive assessments of the conduct of the legislative polls, while expressing concern at “credible information about vote-buying and pressure on civil servants and employees of private companies” reported by Western observers. The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said through a spokesperson on April 4 that the official vote results “reflect the overall will of the Armenian people.”