Hero’s Statue: Location chosen for Garegin Njdeh’s monument in Yerevan sparks controversy

Opposition members of the Yerevan Municipal Council are not happy with the location chosen for the installation of a statue to the great Armenian statesman, military leader and political thinker Garegin Njdeh.

The body dominated by the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) decided that the monument should be placed near one of the Government buildings in the center of the city.

Opposition Hello, Yerevan bloc members believe that the statue should be placed not near the Government building, but rather in Garegin Njdeh Square, which is in the city’s southern Shengavit district.

Currently Soviet-time politician Suren Spandaryan’s statue is standing in the center of the square that bears the name of Njdeh. According to the opposition bloc, many people think that it is Njdeh’s monument.

“Yesterday our bloc member Styopa Safaryan made a very correct quotation, that even [President] Serzh Sargsyan, the leader of the RPA, got confused, mistaking Spandaryan’s statue for Njdeh’s. In this matter our approach is that this confusion should be eliminated,” ‘Hello, Yerevan bloc member, Heritage Party spokesman David Sanasaryan told ArmeniaNow.

It is noteworthy that some Council members representing the Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP) also voted for the replacement of the statue, despite the fact that now Heritage and the PAP are involved in an anti-government campaign with a common agenda along with another opposition party, Armenian National Congress.

According to Sanasaryan, initially becoming a member of the Yerevan City Council they realized that many decisions which they do not support will still be passed by the majority.

“But, if the human race thought that the minority’s opinion is not important, there would not have been development at all. If the Republicans form the majority now, that does not mean that they will always be a majority.”

“And now we voice the alternative here, we present the opinion, the problem of the citizens who voted for us. For instance, I presented the problem of drinking water at the meeting yesterday, Anahit Bakhshyan – the question of kindergartens, Styopa Safaryan spoke of the institutional question,” he mentioned.

According to Hello, Yerevan bloc members, the City Council institute assumes exactly this, because the representatives of the majority force this way or other become more accountable.

“If before they made decisions in 15 minutes, now discussions are held,” Sanasaryan added.