March 1 Rally: ANC leader announces two-month break in street protests

March 1 Rally: ANC leader announces two-month break in street protests

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The opposition Armenian National Congress (ANC) will hold no rallies for at least two months, the opposition party’s leader Levon Ter-Petrosyan told several thousand supporters who gathered in Yerevan’s Liberty Square on Sunday afternoon.

Ter-Petrosyan said the decision was based on the current reality in which, according to him, the ANC again remains alone in the opposition camp. He said that time is needed to assess the potential for further struggle by means of rallies.

The ANC had planned to participate in a joint rally with Heritage and the Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP) on February 20, but after the PAP effectively pulled out of the opposition coalition following a government crackdown earlier last month, the Ter-Petrosyan-led party decided to schedule its rally for March 1, which marks the seventh anniversary of the deadly 2008 post-election clashes.

In explaining his decision to declare a pause in rallies, Ter-Petrosyan also said that the ANC did not want to obstruct in any way the organization and holding of events commemorating the centennial of the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey. The main events are due to take place on April 24.

After the rally, ANC supporters marched towards the Myasnikyan Statue, the scene of the most violent clashes between demonstrators and security forces on March 1-2, 2008. They laid flowers at the monument in memory of the 10 people who were killed in the unrest that night.