Ter-Petrossian Opts for "Divid et Impera" Approach

Armenia -- Opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrossian addresses a rally in Yerevan, 25Nov2011
Armenia -- Opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrossian addresses a rally in Yerevan, 25Nov2011

My main conclusion from today’s opposition rally is that Armenian National Congress (HAK) has nothing to offer his few remaining loyal supporters and will continue its wait-and-see approach hoping that contradictions in Armenia’s ruling coalition will somehow dismantle Serzh Sargsian from power.
Even as opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrossian made a potentially sensational announcement about his readiness to cooperate with  Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), it was probably a simple attempt to add fuel to the fire and see what happens amid speculations of renewed tensions between the BHK and Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) stemming from Tsarukian’s apparent reluctance to reaffirm support for the incumbent president’s reelection.
Tsarukian, Armenia’s richest tycoon, is known for his close ties with Armenia’s Second President Robert Kocharian. Analysts say tensions in ruling coalition are a result of Koacharian’s recent statement about his readiness to return to politics. Tsarukian’s BHK party is seen as Kocharian’s main support base.
The rivalry and almost hatred between Armenia’s First President Levon Ter-Petrossian and Kocharian are well known. Given this background, it is hard to believe, that Ter-Petrossian could seriously consider partnership with Kocharian’s support base. So the partnership offer was most likely an attempt to set HHK on BHK and watch them fight.
Meanwhile, HAK is effectively taking itself out from all political equations till February (that’s when the next rally is announced), to watch from safe heavens if this divid et impera policy will work.
Interestingly, HAK wasn’t really trying to amass a large crowd this time. I didn’t even get the usual printed leaflet this time. This makes me think, that all important messages of this rally were directed to HHK and BHK, not HAK’s supporters or anyone else.

Read more here (also the source of the photo)

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. [youtube=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AHP-WYGqGg”]

  2. I dont think it’s that simple. BHK and HHK are not stupid not to realize it and take the bite. This is just an assurance to Dodi Gago that HAK has nothing against him.
    If Serj wishes he can destroy BHK in a night. What they would need to do is just arrest Dodi Gago and bankrupt his businesses because of his well known and self-confessed tax evasion practices. I am sure this causes Gago sleepless nights hence he will do whatever Serj tells him to do.

    1. I totally agree and in fact, you’ve formulated some points which were on my mind but I wasn’t able to get that through.
      I agree, that Tsarukyan won’t dare to go against Sargsyan, and Sargsyan won’t touch Tsarukyan (that would send a wrong message to oligarchs, who are already nervous after what happened to Khachatur Sukiassian).
      I also think, that Ter-Petrossian is a very smart man and would have taken all of the above into consideration.
      Which leaves me completely disoriented as to what his last speech was about than, what was its point?

      1. I think there are at least two points:
        – “Tsarukyan we have nothing against you”,
        – To demonstrate as if there is a conflict between HHK and BHK. This of course would lead to doubts and further rumors within the ranks and files of BHK and within public in general.
        Personally I think there is some sort of conflic between BHK and HHK but not to a level that would break their coalition. However one may never know what can happen in future as rumors can be very harmful.
        Considering that BHK didn’t dismiss such a co-operationswiftly I would say they either want to leave the door open or they want to use it against their HHK partners for some more seats in parliament.
        Overall I think there are some unknowns and everybody prefers to wait that who would do the next move. Levon did the first move and thats the benefit of having HAK in Armenian politics.

  3. Read the first sentence of HAK’s tax and customs policy:)
    Do you really think Gagik Tsarukyan will say to HAK: “Yes, please tax me, burden me” ? 🙂
    Or you think HAK will really burden Tsarukyan once they cooperate?:)
    Oh, what a dirty game politics is, I’m so happy I breath fresh air:)

  4. Observer, do you ever think that by supporting LTP you are really supporting the current regime? Do you ever think he could just be a puppet of the current regime?

    1. Hi Mike,
      I don’t think Observer supports LTP.
      As for him (LTP) being a tool, of course he is, be it current regime’s, foreign regimes’ or of a group of old revengers, he was and stays a puppet. He just plays his role good and there’s no one to substitute him yet.
      I can not explain calling this regime a bandocracy for 3 years, and then negotiating with that very bandocracy, and now – shamelessly offering a cooperation. What if not a puppet?
      But we need this puppet. It’s our puppet.

    2. Mike, I don’t support LTP, nor any other politician. If I have somehow led anyone to think, that I support LTP, that is a gross misunderstanding and if you can point me to exact phrases, which have made you think so, I will edit those and make sure the misunderstanding is cleared.

  5. Ultimately, there are very few forces that control the country. Russia is the foremost force that controls the external and internal politics of the country. The economy is controlled by 40-50 plutocrats. A sizable chunk of those plutocrats are in BHK or are friendly with BHK.
    I don’t know if real change can happen with the help of Russia or the economic clans as they are the ones who have created and benefit from the current situation of the country. They will not want to change the status quo unless it becomes unsustainable.

  6. When people of this etiquette occupy the parliament, the country is doomed. (forward to 2:00)

    1. It’s normal to have yelling and shouting. It should be disturbing that there are 82 votes when you have 67 people present in the room.
      Either the IT system sucks or there are ghosts pushing the buttons.

      1. IT system doesn’t suck. It is done that way on purpose. They could easily implement biometric logins to the computers so that only people who are logged in (one login per user) can vote. However if they do that things will become complicated, to pass any law they would need to disturb the peace of the so called MPs.
        Why they even bother to run a parliament. They can just auction the title “MP” and donate the money to a charitable cause.

      2. Yes, theaters like this (parliament, elections, constitution, etc.) do not make sense. Canceling these things and stopping to pretend would save some big money.
        But if you want to appear democratic, you have to do these things – it’s a cost of doing business.

  7. @Independent Armenia,
    Disagreeing happens in all parliaments, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard such thuggish, street language ever used to this degree. A lot of politicians around the world are dirty people, but they are educated. This MP clearly proves that he is not educated, and definitely doesn’t earn the right to have a seat in Armenia’s parliament.

    1. Judging from his physical appearance, he is more suitable in Napoli or New Jersey sausage shop than in any parliament in any country. But that’s the parliament Armenia has – probably the result of the “Armenian mentality” much touted by ex-president Kocharian.

    2. But, again, 82 votes when 67 are present is a far more disturbing fact than the cursing and street language.

  8. I think both are “hayvans”, actually. And there is no difference who started and who continued. Because the language of both attacker and defender was absolutely the same. As if they both are from one family.
    And yes, both do not deserve seats in Armenian parliament.

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