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February, orange, and Armenian. Armenia is preparing a "color revolution"
Material posted: Publication date: 17-02-2015

While the attention of the national media was riveted on the talks in the Normandy format in Armenia was gaining momentum, processes that could have a significant impact on the further vector of development of the Republic and the whole Caucasus region. Thursday, February 12, at the Council of the ruling Republican party of Armenia made the incumbent head of state Serzh Sargsyan and, according to local observers, actually "declared war" the leader of the second most influential party "prosperous Armenia", the oligarch, one of the richest people in the country Gagik Tsarukyan. The outcome of this confrontation, which involved practically all the political forces of the Republic, the future closest ally and, accordingly, the fate of Russian-Armenian relations.

In the middle of 2014 combined, the Quartet parliamentary parties, prosperous Armenia (PA), "Heritage", Armenian revolutionary Federation (ARF) "Dashnaktsutyun" and the Armenian national Congress (ANC) has charged the current government with an ultimatum of 12 items that require immediate carrying out economic and social reforms. The term has not executed the ultimatum has already expired, Armenia became a full member of the Eurasian economic Union (EEU), and the "Quartet", from which came the ARF "Dashnaktsutyun", has become "three". However, a coalition of opposition parties showed the power of both its vitality and its possibilities. In the fall of 2014 the opposition in a short time led to street protests in Yerevan a lot of unhappy citizens.

February 5 held at the initiative of the Congress, Tsarukyan is the leader of the opposition forces, the PA strongly criticized the government's draft constitutional reform providing for transition to a parliamentary form of government. According to opponents of the current government, the ruling Republican party and President Serzh Sargsyan intends to maintain its leading role in state policy. Tsarukyan warned that if the government will not abandon these plans, people will have no choice, "but to compel the country's leadership to hold early parliamentary and presidential elections". By the way, at them the leader of "Prosperous Armenia" expects to be as a single candidate from the opposition.

After this statement, the oligarch, the events developed at lightning speed. February 7 in Yerevan was kidnapped and severely beaten a member of the political Council of the party "prosperous Armenia" party Artak Khachatryan. In the crime, some PA officials immediately accused the country's leadership, calling on all opposition forces to boycott the Parliament sessions until the investigation is completed and the Pro-Western Heritage party has described the incident as "a terrorist act" of the authorities.

The reaction of the President on the attacks in his side not long to wait. 12 February a meeting of the Council of the Republican party, devoted exclusively to Tsarukyan and his ambitions. The role of keynote speaker was given to the President of the country. In his speech, Serzh Sargsyan did not hesitate to use expressions such as "Dodi Gago" (from Armenian "stupid Gago"), had doubts that Tsarukyan is fully aware of the meaning of spoken statements to them and called oligarch not to be confused with the political field armwrestling Federation (Tsarukyan has achievements in this sport). According to Sargsyan, addressed to his associates in the party, the person possessing the necessary mechanisms for participation in political processes, but with limited mental abilities inevitably becomes a hindrance for any development. In addition, the President called the leader of "Prosperous Armenia" "evil for the country", announced his exclusion from the national security Council, called on the parliamentary leadership to consider the issue of deprivation of the Deputy mandate policy, and Executive power is to understand the rumors about the alleged by the Tsarukyan's tax evasion and concealment of criminal offences. The President's speech the authorities was perceived as a call to action, in the criticism of the opposition leader scored all occupy any significant place in the administrative hierarchy of the Armenian officials, starting from heads of government and Parliament, to the leadership of the Ministry.

On convened on the presidential speech the meeting of the political Council of "Prosperous Armenia" Tsarukyan said that the authorities ' action against him is the result of the position of the party on the constitutional reform project. He noted that the leadership of the state offered him the presidency in exchange for support for political change.

Urgently launched a joint consultation of the opposition leaders in the format of the "Troika", the result of which was announced on 20 February on Liberty square in Yerevan a national rally to demand early parliamentary and presidential elections. And their protests, the Troika is actively seeking to engage other political forces in the country.

The prospect of confrontation from offices and courtrooms to the streets of Armenian cities is compounded by a significant deterioration of the socio-economic situation in the country related to the weakening after the ruble Armenian dram. In combination with high levels of corruption and distrust of the current government reducing the level of life able to push Armenian citizens to action not so much in support of the fallen into disgrace oligarchs, but against the ruling party and head of state.

Of particular importance emerging in Armenia protest to relations with Russia. From January 2015 the country is a full member of the EAEC, with this fact the Pro-Western opposition the Republic is trying to link the deteriorating economic indicators of the country. Although Tsarukyan the leader of the Union party of the ANC Levon Ter-Petrosyan advocated the country's participation in integration initiatives of Moscow, the party "Heritage" promotes rapprochement with the West until the EU membership. Their talks about joint with "Prosperous Armenia" and ANC actions of the leader of "Heritage", former U.S. citizen Raffi Hovannisian began with a visit to the Polish Embassy, where he met with the Ambassador of Warsaw Jerzy Nowakowski.

It is no secret that in Armenia financed by Western grants active in various non-governmental organizations and civil initiatives, willing to use any reason for discrediting the partnership of Yerevan with Moscow. The non-governmental sector together with activists and functionaries of the "Heritage" actively participated in the protests after the murder in Gyumri military personnel of the 102nd military base to the Avetisyan family, and appearance on the street rallies of the anti-Russian slogans largely due to NGO activities.

These forces immediately identified the intention to participate in the protests on the side of Tsarukyan. The latter, in turn, publicly declaring that the protest is exclusively concerned with domestic political agendas, to consolidate under its banner the greatest number of opponents of the authorities risked to take to the streets a considerable number of supporters of European integration, adjusted to the developments on the "orange" scenario.

In such conditions there is a high probability that the protest will become not only anti-government but also anti-Russian character.

For the very same Tsarukyan, apparently, only two paths: to accept concessions and to abandon their own political ambitions, or to keep his own encounter with the power until the end, bringing to the streets masses of dissatisfied citizens. And if you look at the logic of actions of the leader of "Prosperous Armenia", he preferred the second option. This means that in the near future the political situation in the Republic can develop on the radical scenario, thereby laying the Foundation for the establishment on the southern boundary of Russia of a new hotbed of tension.


Nikolay Banin



Tags: threat , Armenia

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