Social protest in Armenia: saddling a wave

The recent statements by the opposition demonstrate their intention to grab power on the wave of popular discontent.

All admit that Armenia is facing social discontent and division of the public. Despite the leadership’s resoluteness to struggle against these phenomena, social tensions grow and the recent statements by the opposition demonstrate their intention to grab power on the wave of popular discontent.

PanARMENIAN.Net - The events in Tunisia and Egypt, where leaders were ousted after decades of ruling, filled the oppositionists in Armenia with strong hope for success. However, approaches of the opposition forces differ. While AFR Dashnaktsutyun speak out against the forcible change of power, the Armenian National Congress displays aggression. People’s Party leader Tigran Karapetyan tries not to fall behind, promising to show a ‘red card’ to the authorities during the February 28 rally.

On the whole, the situation with Karapetyan seems rather tangled. Opposition media label him as “authorities’ project” aimed to weaken the ANC’s positions and take away a part of its potential voters. Karapetyan fiercely denies such reports and insist he is struggling for the justice.

The ANC is calling for active protests, what its representative describe as “the guarantee of victory.” Social Democrat Hunchakian party chairperson Lyudmila Sargsyan believes that protests may grow into social revolts. Armenian National Movement board head Aram Manukyan calls to follow the example of Tunisia and Egypt while ANC coordinator Levon Zurabyan warns about ‘serious events’ during the March 1 rally.

Realizing the gravity of the situation, the ruling coalition issued a declaration pledging support to incumbent president Serzh Sargsyan during the next presidential election. Besides, the authorities keep reminding of the unsettled Karabakh conflict and the danger of resumption of hostilities in case of political instability in Armenia. Some media reports suggest that the leadership is planning to restraint the power of oligarchs, whose activity arouses deep indignation of the population.

Anyway, people will get answers to some questions after the rallies on February 28 and March 1, which will show how far the opposition can go in its intention to take the power. There is still hope that the authorities and opposition will come to some agreement to prevent clashes.

Hayk Khalatyan / PanARMENIAN News
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