Hovannisian set to end hunger strike on Easter, plans more trips to regions

Hovannisian set to end hunger strike on Easter, plans more trips to regions


Opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian will end his hunger strike and resume trips to the regions as part of his protest against the outcome of last month’s presidential election giving victory to the incumbent president.

At a rally attended by thousands of his supporters in Yerevan’s Liberty Square on Friday, Hovannisian, who has been on a hunger strike since March 10, said he will quit his hunger strike on Sunday, March 31, which is observed as Easter by the Armenian Apostolic Church.

He also said he will start trips to various towns and villages in Armenia before gathering his supporters for another big rally in the capital on April 5.

Earlier this week, President Serzh Sargsyan urged Hovannisian to end his hunger strike, recover ‘for a day or two’ and engage in a political dialogue based on his demands.

Last week, Hovannisian demanded early parliamentary elections and several key posts in the future government in exchange for his recognition of Sargsyan’s ‘de-facto’ presidency.

In their exchange of letters during the week Hovannisian, however, refused to quit the strike immediately, stressing that he would do so only at the time of his own choosing.

Sargsyan is due to be sworn in for a second five-year term as president on April 9.

During his Barevolution campaign the opposition leader has repeatedly said that “a new Armenia will be sworn in” on that day. He has not elaborated.