National United Party
Ազգային Միացյալ Կուսակցություն
|Leader||Haykaz Khachatryan (founder)|
Paruyr Hayrikyan (1973-1987)
|Membership||unknown, including about 100 (youth member)|
The National United Party (Armenian: Ազգային Միացյալ Կուսակցություն; Russian: Национальная объединённая партия) was an Armenian underground political party in the Soviet Union. It operated from 1966 until 1987, when it was renamed Union for National Self-Determination (UNSD), which became the first democratic party in the USSR.
Since the early 1960s the Soviet regime had to confront pockets of dissident thinking. The monopoly of the Communist party was questioned by people who thought in terms of freedom of thought and speech. Painter Haykaz Khachatryan (1920-1989) and a group of Armenians made a demonstration on April 24, 1965 near the tomb of Gomidas Vartabed in Yerevan. They were arrested, but released a few days later due to lack of evidence. The National United Party (NUP) was founded on April 24, 1966, by painter Haykaz Khachatryan, Stepan Zatikyan and Shahen Harutyunyan. The party issued and distributed the first issue of its clandestine periodical Paros (Phare) in October 1967. When the founders were imprisoned in 1968, Paruyr Hayrikyan became head of the party. The main goals of the NUP were the independence of Soviet Armenia, the establishment of democracy, and the elimination of the consequences of the Armenian Genocide (1915-1923). All members should closely follow the program of the party, entitled "For the Nation and the Homeland." Any person aged sixteen, who accepted the program, could become a party member. In 1973 the National United Party re-elected Hayrikyan as its president. Hayrikyan wrote his political program, "The Road to Independence through Referendum Strategy," in the same year. After he was arrested in 1974, he continued clandestinely to lead the organization. On his return to Armenia in August 1987, Hayrikyan founded a successor party to the NUP, the Union for National Self-Determination.
- (in Armenian) History of the Republican Party of Armenia