The formation of a new political party — Sasna Tsrer — was hailed by an editor in a recent column titled “Farewell to Arms.”
Although the title is most fitting to the issue, it is not related in any way to the book of the same name by writer Ernest Hemingway. It rather refers to the new party’s immediate past when its members resorted to violence, overrunning a police station and killing three police officers in 2016.
Following the success of the Velvet Revolution this spring, the group announced its decision to renounce violence and enter Armenia’s new political scene as a party.
Although the group’s initial salvo does not sound any less militant than the guns which they parted with recently.
The constitutional congress of the new party took place on September 29. It was announced that the party would be directed by a secretariat composed of seven members: Garegin Chugaszyan, Alek Yenikomshian, Gevorg Safaryan, Vahagn Avagyan, Arek Kyureghyan, Ruzan Yeghnukyan and Varuzhan Avetisyan as coordinator. They are all extremely intelligent people, fiercely dedicated to the cause.
The name of the party is derived from the Armenian national epic, The Daredevils of Sasoun. Most of the above-named political activists were in jail at one point because of the raid on the police station in 2016. They had resorted to that violent act because they had demanded the release of Jirayr Sefilyan, a Karabakh war hero who was jailed after being accused of hatching a plot to overthrow the government. They have all since been released by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, with their bonds guaranteed by 13 members of the current parliament.