The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) on Monday defended the imposition of a state of emergency in Yerevan, saying that the post-election protests staged by former President Levon Ter-Petrosian were an attempt at coup d’etat.
“We emphasize that the actions taken by the first president and his supporters were an attempt to come power by violent means and that the Armenian president’s decision to declare a state of emergency was a necessity,” the leadership of the nationalist party represented in the government said in a statement.
The statement said Saturday’s deadly clashes between security forces and thousands of opposition supporters were part of Ter-Petrosian’s “scenario consistently prepared in the last several months.” It demanded that the authorities identify and strictly punish organizers of the riots.
Dashnaktsutyun also faulted Armenia’s leadership for failing to address “objective reasons” for public discontent with the state of affairs in the country which it said was the reason why Ter-Petrosian has attracted a large following since his political comeback in September. It said the authorities should strengthen the rule of law and tackle the public “sense of injustice” in earnest.
Dashnaktsutyun contested the February 19 with its own candidate, Vahan Hovannisian, who won 6.1 percent of the vote, according to the Central Election Commission. While alleging widespread fraud, the party recognized Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian’s victory in the vote and is understood to be ready to join a new coalition government which he plans to form in the coming weeks.
(Photolur photo: Dashnaktsutyun supporters pictured during a Hovannisian campaign rally.)