Opposition Affairs: MP urges bloc of liberal forces ahead of 2017 elections

Opposition Affairs: MP urges bloc of liberal forces ahead of 2017 elections

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While the government is likely to be reshuffled before the parliamentary elections of 2017, with the ruling Republican Party forming a coalition with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and seeking cooperation with other forces in an attempt to secure a stable majority, the opposition maintains silence in the opposite pole.

Just a year ahead of the parliamentary elections the opposition’s noticeable crisis is extending. No statements on making coalitions or alliances have been heard from opposition.

A few days ago, Hrant Bagratyan, an MP from the Armenian National Congress (ANC) told media that if they manage to create a broad coalition in a year, then everyone will vote for them.

“I have invited everyone to take part in creating a coalition. I’m inviting them now, too: the Free Democrats, the ANC, Heritage, New Armenia, the Civil Contract, the Republic, the Armenian National Movement ... Sorry, if I have forgotten someone. If these forces unite, they will win in the parliamentary elections. I advise that everyone join, join with equal conditions. And this is the only winning formula,” said Bagaratyan.

The Orinats Yerkir party, which once used to be opposition, then made part of the government, and today again considers itself opposition, intends to participate in the general elections in 2017 by the Armenian Rebirth Union.

Artur Minasyan, a spokesman for the Orinats Yerkir, told the Haykakan Zhamanak newspaper that several political parties, which are part of the union, have already agreed to unite and create the Armenian Rebirth party. Minasyan does not exclude the possibility that some of the parties in this process will also be dissolved, becoming a member of the new party.

“A congress will be held and the Armenian Rebirth party will be established. When the discussions end, everyone will know about this. One thing is now clear that the party is going to become one of the founders of the Armenian Rebirth party,” he said.

The ANC and the Founding Parliament, bigger players in the opposition field, are going to rally on March 1, which marks the eighth anniversary of the deadly 2008 post-election clashes.

Yerevan municipality allowed two opposition parties to hold a rally at Liberty Square at the same time. The municipality authorities fully granted the ANC’s earlier submitted application allowing the political forces to hold rally and carry out a march. Whereas, the application by the New Armenia was granted partially banning putting up tents and holding round the clock rally by the force led by Jirair Sefilian and Raffi Hovannisian.

New Armenia is negotiating with the ANC led by Levon Ter-Petrosyan and with other opposition forces to hold a joint rally on March 1.

Levon Zurabyan, the leader of the ANC faction, already stated that the municipality probably deliberately complicated the issue.

“Such a decision is nothing more than a direct provocation by the authorities. There were legitimate solutions: they could have decided to allow the forces to hold rallies either at different places or at different hours and there would have still been a chance [of further negotiations over holding a joint rally] and in the end probably we would have done so. But the municipality’s decision just does not fit into the framework of any legality or political logic,” Zurabyan told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

According to him, the ANC anyhow considers New Armenia’s proposal trying to solve the issue as it is proper to a balanced, serious political force, which has always demanded that those, who are responsible for the March 1, 2008 crime, be held accountable.