Armenian News Network / Groong


Conversation on Groong: Opposition Talks - with HHK/RPA’s Armen Ashotyan



January 19, 2021



     Armen Ashotyan


     Hovik Manucharyan

          Alen Zamanyan

     Asbed Bedrossian



Hello and welcome to the Armenian News Network, Groong. Today we are continuing our discussions with different representatives of the Armenian political opposition in the aftermath of the November 9 ceasefire agreement.


This episode was recorded on Sunday, January 17, 2021.


Topic: Opposition Talks - with Armen Ashotyan of the HHK


Following the trilateral Karabakh ceasefire of Nov 9, all major political forces in Armenia (be that parliamentary or extra-parliamentary, except for the ruling party) condemned Nikol Pashinyan’s agreement to the deal. While the dissatisfaction with the agreement is widespread, different opposition groups have put forth differing plans on what to do next.

As a leading parliamentary party since the late 1990s, the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) has been in control of successive governments (sometimes through coalitions) for over two and a half decades. The party lost its prominence in the December 2018 elections but remained a vocal extra-parliamentary opposition.

Today we will look at why and how the RPA has joined a coalition of opposition parties demanding PM Pashinyan’s resignation and what are the similarities and differences between the RPA and other opposition parties.


Today we’re joined by:

Armen Ashotyan, who is the vice president of the Republican Party of Armenia. From 2005 to 2007, Mr. Ashotyan was a member of the National Assembly, and chaired the Committee on Foreign Relations. From 2009 to 2017, Ashotyan served as Minister of Education and Science. In 2017, Ashotyan was elected to the parliament again and served there until the Dec 2018 snap parliamentary elections.





It’s been just over two years since the 2018 elections that resulted in the RPA, the Republican Party of Armenia, became an extra-parliamentary party for the first time in over two decades. There have been many questions about what exactly happened in 2018. What happened in April-May, what took place in October, and then what happened during the elections in December?

Vazgen Manukyan has been critical of foreign-funded Western NGOs and during his various speeches he has talked about more regulation for such funding. Does that also represent the RPA’s position? Where does the RPA stand on these NGOs?

The Homeland Salvation Movement has accused Nikol Pashinyan of treason for signing the capitulation agreement of Nov 9/10. We also heard your movement raise alarm signals prior to Pashinyan’s trip to Moscon on January 11, with the movement warning that:

“any decision taken against the interests of Armenia and Artsakh will be recognized as illegitimate, will be rejected by the Armenian people, will not be ratified and will be annulled after the change of power.”

Do you believe that the January 11 agreement to open rail communications was against the interests of Armenia or Artsakh?

If, as the opposition claims, Pashinyan truly is a traitor then many, even among your supporters, are wondering why the movement isn’t more active in protesting or removing Pashinyan? Why aren’t there more people in the streets?

What is your party’s position on the electoral reform currently being discussed in the NA? On that note why did the RPA not vote for the government’s proposal to reduce the threshold for parties and electoral alliances to 4% and 6% respectively back in 2018?

What were the lessons learned from the results of the December 2018 elections for the RPA?  What is your party’s vision for Armenia and for RPA’s role in that new Armenia, over the next 5-10 years?




That concludes this Conversations On Groong episode. 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 on our website, at, or on our Facebook PageANN - 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. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channels, Like our pages and follow us on social media. Thank you for listening and we’ll talk to you soon.


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Primary: Armen Ashotyan, Serge Sargsyan, Republican Party of Armenia, RPA, HHK, Hanrapetakan, Homeland Salvation Movement,

Additional: Nikol Pashinyan, Vazgen Mannukyan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Nagorno Karabakh, Karabakh, Artsakh, War, January 11, November 9, November 10, Opposition, Minister of Education and Science, National Assembly, Snap Elections, 2018 Elections, Velvet Revolution