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Founded in 1890, the programme of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Hai Heghapokhakan Tashnaktsutyun) is based on social justice, democracy and national self-determination for the Armenian people. The ARF-Tashnaktsutyun led the effort toward the establishment of the first Armenian Republic in 1918 and was the party in power for the duration of its existence. Following the Sovietization of Armenia in 1920, the ARF-Tashnaktsutyun was banned by the Communists and its leadership exiled. In the Diaspora, the ARF-Tashnaktsutyun fought Soviet rule over Armenia and championed the cause of Armenian rights and independence; it played a leading role in organizing a social and cultural framework aimed at preserving the Armenian identity. The ARF-Tashnaktsutyun officially re-emerged in Armenia during the dissolution of the USSR, in 1990. On December 28, 1994, the activities of the ARF-Tashnaktsutyun were "temporarily suspended" by the Armenian authorities. In view of the political nature of the anti-ARF interdictions by the Armenian authorities, the ARF continued to operate in Armenia. On February 9, 1998, less than a week after the resignation of the president of the Republic of Armenia, Levon Ter-Petrossian, the Justice Ministry lifted the ban on the ARF-Tashnaktsutyun. The ARF-Tashnaktsutyun is internationally recognized as a major political force both in Armenia, Karabakh and in the Armenian communities worldwide.

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