The miserable ‘Central Committee’ building

I entered that building for the first time in the early 1980s when I was a student. My most vivid memory is of some Comintern official who did not allow a group of girls to enter the building because they were wearing jeans. The ban was probably a part of the fight against “bourgeois influence.” The building was gloomy and unattractive with its “official” carpets (which, as far as I understood, have not changed much over the past 40 years) and heavy doors. The claims that the building, which was constructed between 1948 and 1950, was built upon a cemetery, are false; there used to be an orchard on that hill. However, that did not save the “Central Committee” building from many misfortunes during the Third Republic.

After the rigged presidential election of September 25, 1996, supporters of the opposition’s candidate, Vazgen Manukyan, stormed the National Assembly building and assaulted the speaker and vice speaker of the parliament. During the session of parliament one day later, deputies of the ruling party assaulted members of the National Democratic Union. Around three years later, the events of October 27th took place… huge efforts were made between 2006 and 2010 to erase some of the memories surrounding that horrific terrorist attack on that building; in particular, the meeting room was completely renovated. But the sad traditions continued. On the night of November 9-10, 2020, some incomprehensible individuals stormed the National Assembly and took selfies there while several rascals attacked and assaulted the National Assembly Speaker. I hope these people will receive the maximum punishment outlined by the law.

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And today, members of the opposition are once again standing near the National Assembly building; their anger and rage against the defeated government is completely justified. However, if they try to storm the parliament building, it will not be justified, at least, not in my opinion. On the other side of the barricades is the so-called “people’s power,” which ostensibly aims its weapons towards the citizens. Pashinyan, most likely, wants to prove that he is not very different from Kocharyan.

I believe that all normal Armenian citizens, regardless of their political views, must wish for one thing: that this confrontation does not result in any tragic consequences. In order for that to happen, political parties must sit down and come to an agreement. It does not matter to me who comes to power; it is more important that nothing results in bloodshed. And, overall, what is preventing Armenians from negotiating and reaching an agreement? Perhaps a new OSCE Minsk Group needs to be formed in order for that to happen?

… There is another rumor about the National Assembly building. They say that when a communist government came to power in Armenia in 1990, there were plans to turn the building into an exhibition. But then they decided that the authorities need to use that building once again. And the building was insulted.

Aram Abrahamyan

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