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The Armenian Revolutionary Federation – Dashnaktsutyun (ARF) has announced that it calls back its representative from the intergovernmental commission tasked with drafting a law “On Armenia’s Anthem”.

In its statement issued on Monday, the party’s Supreme Council advocated the reaffirmation of the “Mer Hayrenik” (Our Fatherland) song as Armenia’s national anthem.

“For unclear reasons the commission considered its task to be the rejection of the “Mer Hayrenik” (Our Homeland) anthem and replacing it with a new anthem.

“Propaganda against the song was obvious. The situation becomes extremely alarming and deplorable when the criteria of national and state values are replaced with pure artistic preferences,” the ARF said.

The Mer Hayrenik song had an official status until the short-lived first independent Armenian republic was incorporated into Soviet Russia. It was for decades banned by the Soviet authorities before being reinstated by Armenia’s first post-Communist government in 1990.

Many Armenian music composers and artists disapproved of the move, saying that the song’s uncomplicated theme is too simple for an anthem and called for the adoption of a more solemn tune.

Meanwhile, Dashnaktsutyun considers “Mer Hayrenik” to be “an anthem that has no alternative, an inseparable guide of the liberation struggle and state building of the Armenian people.”

Dashnaktsutyun’s representative at the commission drafting the law “On Armenia’s Anthem” is National Assembly deputy Ruben Hovsepian.

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