Political Option?: New initiative says it offers “alternative”

On February 3rd, the same day the first president of the Republic of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan resigned in 1998, the ‘Alternative’ social political initiative organized its first meeting thus heralding the entrance of the new force into the political field of Armenia.

The 700-seat Tigran Mets Hall at the Marriott Armenia Hotel was filled for the occasion.

“We chose that symbolic day for our first gathering because we believe the oligarchic and criminal situation now existing in the country was created after Ter-Petrosyan’s resignation,” says member of the new group, former member of the parliament Petros Makeyan.

He believes the entrance of the Alternative group into the political field may turn the wheel of history back, he says, return Armenia to the people.

The new civil initiative was launched last February and has been operating in Yerevan and the regions, involving mainly youth in its ranks.

Nikol Pashinyan, the editor in chief of the Haykakan Zhamanak daily and a member to the initiating group says the new movement has been created not to simply withstand the present day situation but also to offer an alternative.

According to Pashinyan the difference between their organization and the opposition and various types of oppositional movements is that the ‘Alternative’ has launched a battle for ideas, not personalities, because it does not suffer “the illness of leadership”.

Pashinyan philosophizes that Alternative’s partner is the average citizen.

“Every one should say in his mind that the salvation for Armenia depends on one person and the person is him; everyone should realize he can exterminate the illegalities and the permissiveness by means of his own personal struggle,” the staunchly oppositional editor says.

The ‘Alternative’ social-political initiative (www.ayl.am) will participate in the May 12 parliamentary elections. However, its member say they don’t care about the status each of them will get after the elections.

“Each of us is offered the thirty silver coins as the cost for the future of our children to deem them to permanent servitude to the skinheads,” says the editor in chief. “Oligarchy did not rule the country in those times. There is no one more discredited today than (powerful oligarch Gagik) Tsarukyan and the whole clan in power.”

On February 20th, on the day of the 19th anniversary of the Karabakh movement, the ‘Alternative’ will launch a series of meetings with an aim of taking people to the streets again.

The first meeting will start at Freedom Square with a planned march to the building of the House of Radio, to symbolize the protest against the constraints of the freedom of speech.