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Armenian Opposition Bloc Seeking President's Resignation

Levon Zurabian, a leading member of the opposition Armenian National Congress
YEREVAN -- An Armenian National Congress (HAK) leader says the opposition bloc may fail to force early parliamentary and presidential elections but will continue to campaign for President Serzh Sarkisian's resignation, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports.

Levon Zurabian told RFE/RL on October 11 that Sarkisian's ouster remains the HAK's supreme goal.

"If we manage to achieve our goal this fall, that will be fine," he said. "If not, we will use the whole process, including possible regular [parliamentary] elections. We will use those regular elections with the aim of achieving Serzh Sarkisian's resignation."

Zurabian, the HAK's central office coordinator, said "that is now our main goal and we will use all means to achieve that goal."

The bloc led by former President Levon Ter-Petrossian has for months warned the Sarkisian administration to call snap elections or face a new opposition push for power. It began holding nonstop protests on September 30 in Yerevan's Liberty Square but ended them eight days later without securing any government concessions.

Sarkisian and his three-party governing coalition have so far ignored Ter-Petrossian's offer of a "reasonable compromise" that would lead the HAK to reconsider its demands for snap elections.

The HAK described the president's "immediate resignation" as its key objective as it called a halt to the Liberty Square sit-in on October 8.

"If that goal seems unrealistic to some people, then those people will very quickly understand that they were wrong," Zurabian said.

He added that the success of the HAK's regime change efforts has been hampered by Western powers' support for Sarkisian, which Ter-Petrossian and his aides attribute to geopolitical factors.

The opposition politician said continuing government "repression" is another reason for the "difficulties" currently facing the opposition movement.

Read more in Armenian here