Table of Contents
Hello and welcome to the
Armenian News Network, Groong. We’ll
be talking about the demands of the political opposition in Armenia for a
provisional government to lead the country out of the crisis following the
catastrophic loss in the war in Artsakh.
This episode was recorded on Thursday, December 17, 2020.
Following the trilateral Karabakh ceasefire of Nov 9, the Armenian opposition has nearly universally condemned Nikol Pashinyan’s agreement to the deal.
The largest opposition grouping, called Movement of the Salvation of the Homeland (Հայրենիքի փրկության շաժում in Armenian), composed of 17 political parties including the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), Prosperous Armenia, and the Republican Party, are demanding Pashinyan’s immediate resignation and the appointment of their unified candidate, Vazgen Manukyan as interim PM.
This group has been holding regular protests featuring a growing number of participants, with the latest gathering Wednesday, December 17, estimated to be 20K in size.
Today, we’ll be talking with a representative of one of the political forces behind the movement, to better understand the internal political developments in Armenia and specifically the goals of the Movement of the Salvation of the Homeland.
To talk about these issues, we are joined by:
Arthur Khachatryan, who is a member of the Armenian Revolutionary
Federation (ARF Dashnaktsutyun) Supreme Council in
Yerevan. In the past, he held government posts such as Deputy Minister of
Territorial Administration and Development, Governor of Shirak, and Minister of
Agriculture. Currently, Arthur is a professor of finance at the French
University of Armenia and lectures on Leadership at the Public Administration
Academy of the Republic of Armenia.
What made the ARF Dashnaktsutyun
join forces with the 16 other political parties and what is the broad position
of the movement, and the ARF specifically?
during the earlier days of the protest, we heard that many of the organizers of
the protests were being detained by police and national security forces. Can
you say that police intimidation is still taking place and how has it affected
the leadership of the protests?
Nikol Pashinyan criticized this movement for being an “elitist
protest”, not representative of the entire Armenian populace. How would you
respond to that?
How does the ARF differentiate from the wider
opposition goals, especially during the “provisional” 6–12-month period that
you suggest? Specifically, we’ve heard Vazgen
Manukyan express a position on foreign funding of Armenian NGOs for instance.
Is that position also shared by the ARF?
What do you think of the government’s proposal
and effort to change the electoral code? Is this a change that should be
prioritized in the interim period?
The Alliance settled on Vazgen
Manukyan as the interim Prime Minister to head a provisional government and
lead to preterm elections. As the politics evolve in Yerevan, if the situation
requires that a different potential candidate be nominated, would the ARF
support that? What are the red lines for the ARF about who might or might not
be acceptable as an interim Prime Minister?
During the 2018 elections the ARF didn’t receive sufficient votes to gain any seats in the parliament. What are your party’s plans for becoming a relevant political force, represented in the parliament in Armenia? What is your party’s vision for Armenia over the next 5-10 years?
That concludes this Conversation on Groong. We hope it was helpful
in your understanding of some of the issues involved. We look forward to your
feedback, including your suggestions for Conversation
topics in the future. Contact us
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or on our Facebook Page “ANN - Groong”,
or in our Facebook Group “Groong - Armenian News Network”.
Special thanks to Laura
Osborn for providing the music for our podcast. On behalf of everyone in this
episode, we wish you a good week. Thank you for listening and we’ll talk to you
Armenia, Artsakh, Karabakh, Opposition, Salvation of the Homeland, ARF, Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Dashnaktsutyun, Arthur Khachatryan, Stepanakert