With diminishing support – opposition becomes cautious

E-channel has a detailed update on yesterday’s opposition rally – Reporter_Arm stayed till the end of the rally to give you the objective picture. Bored with all the rallies of the year, I left at around 19:30, when it became evident, that the maximum number of supporters will peak at around 5-6,000 – which is the smallest rally with the participation of Levon Ter-Petrossian that I’ve seen this year yet. It is, however, too early to speak of final breakdown of the opposition. On the contrary, it seems the opposition has finally decided to move away from rallies and revolutionism, and start actually engaging in politics.
Postponing the rally of September 5th not to hinder the Turkish president’s visit is one sign of this, participation in elections of Yerevan District Mayors is another. And accounts of yesterday’s rally also ring positive bells, albeit with silly distractions like the speech of Armenia’s cheif Marxist.
David Shahnazarian, for example, has said, “We have to understand, that it is not time for abrupt actions by the Movement at the moment”, noting, that the opposition movement should be careful not to become a tool in the hands of foreign powers.
Levon Zurabyan has set the future agenda of the Movement, saying the logic and rules of the game have now changed, and the opposition will avoid direct confrontations and engage in the sphere of ideology instead.
Speaking for around half an hour, Levon Ter-Petrossian has analyzed the geopolitical situation around armenia, and noted, that these are hard times for Armenia’s foreign politics. The Movement should take care not to harm the Country and the people, opposition leader has said.
No march in the streets of Yerevan has followed the rally. Although the opposition has explained it with the desire not to undertake illegal actions (as the march would have been unsanctioned), it is more likely, that the decision was taken because of small number of rally attenders, which would have made an embarrassing sight if stretched in a march.

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. […] Armenian Observer comments on yesterday's opposition rally in Yerevan and says that it was the smallest gathering yet. Posted by Onnik Krikorian  Print Version Share […]

  2. who was that Russian speaking man and what did he want?

  3. Someone forgot to tell the Russian speaking man that the Soviet Union collapsed about 17 years ago.

  4. Russian speaking man is Davit Hakobyan-Head of Marksisit Party of Armenia

  5. So after the final collapse of the U.S. financial system, we should stop speaking English, eh? Interesting logic… Armenians should speak EVERYTHING. And start learning Chinese, people!

  6. Hahaha))) David Hakobyan cracks me up))))) Velikaya Rus’))) Bibleyskiy Armjanskiy narod!
    In Armenia there is only one serious political party left in its traditional meaning – ARF. And all the serious politicians outside ARF are these in power – S. Sargsyan and T. Sargsyan as well as R. Kocharyan who definetely still plays a role in our politics. Everyone else is more or less politically impotent.

  7. Archuk – ARF are also in power – if you hadn’t noticed 🙂

  8. “On the contrary, it seems the opposition has finally decided to move away from rallies and revolutionism, and start actually engaging in politics.”
    Hi Observer,
    Are these signs that the opposition is looking to become a part of the debate within the institutions and not just on the streets? When they are looking to debate ideology, does this mean that they are looking to become a party represented in National Assembly? Ministries? If not, then how does it look like they might want to become involved in politics?

  9. Tamar – I think there are a lot of signs indicating, that the LTP-led opposition is looking to become part of the political system, and I think that is a positive sign.

  10. At least compared to 2 years ago when it was beneath them to even participate in the parliamentary elections, I agree, that any signs of participatory politics is a good thing.

  11. Thanks Observer and AH. Yes of course I agree, I just wanted to make sure I understood the trend that you were pointing to. Indeed it is interesting there has been a shift in attitude, that there is a desire to actually become a part of the system.

  12. […] Yesterday saw an apparently unsanctioned pre-election rally ahead of tomorrow’s local election in Yerevan’s Kentron (Center) district. Some observers consider the vote an important test for democracy following a disputed presidential election earlier this year and a way to assess the level of support for the former president, Levon Ter-Petrossian. Demonstrations staged by his opposition movement since the 1 March clashes have become smaller and smaller leading some to consider that it has run out of momentum. […]

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