Disillusioned with its “open dialogue” with the government, Armenia’s largest opposition coalition, the Armenian National Congress, is falling back on a familiar tactic -- taking to the streets. The question is: will ordinary Armenians follow?
The opposition-government dialogue commenced during the summer then hit a speed bump August 9, when opposition youth activists and Yerevan police clashed, resulting in the detention of one activist. Armenian National Congress (ANC) representatives have shunned meetings with government officials since August 26.
Calling on supporters to “show their strength,” ANC leaders are planning to gather on September 9 in Yerevan to demand the release of the jailed activist, 30-year-old Tigran Arakelian. They are also pressing for early presidential and parliamentary elections.
The ANC’s rejection of talks clearly has annoyed representatives of President Serzh Sargsyan’s administration. “It is not right to speak with ultimatums inside one’s own country; it will never end well,” huffed Hovhannes Sahakian, a MP for the governing Republican Party of Armenia.
To read the full story
Marianna Grigoryan is a freelance reporter based in Yerevan.