Saturday, 02 August

Raffi Hovannisian: "I demanded that Sargsyan recognize the people's victory. He refused."

Marine Madatyan


19:30, February 22, 2013

Raffi Hovannisian announces launch of constitutional struggle. Plans a tour of towns and villages.

Addressing the throngs of supporters today in Yerevan’s Freedom Square, Raffi Hovannisian said that a yesterday’s meeting at the Presidential Place Serzh Sargsyan refused to recognize the “victory of the people”.

Hovannisian told the crowd that, while paying his respects, he demanded that Sargsyan accept the will of the people and that Sargsyan answer was “no”.

Responding to some in the crowd who had questioned why Hovannisian took the trouble to walk on foot to see Sargsyan, Hovannisian said, “I went because I have no hang-ups in my homeland. I have no fears.”

Hovannisian said that his parting word to Sargsyan was a demand to punish all those who had engaged in election fixing.

Hovannisian, who has refused to accept the official election results naming Sargsyan the winner, assured the crowd that he would continue to wage a “peaceful and constitutional struggle”.

“We have no time to waste. This popular movement will not die. We are headed towards victory,” he exclaimed.

Hovannisian announced that starting tomorrow, he and his supporters would tour all the towns and villages of Armenia one by one to take the victory and greetings to our compatriots.

“Tomorrow Ashtarak. In the afternoon it’s Vanadzor and Gyumri by 5pm. On Sunday at 3pm we will gather again at Freedom Square,” said Hovannisian. 


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Comments (16)
1. haykUS20:32 - 22 February, 2013
It is like dream come true. If Raffi can bring everyone together we all will come back to our country. I now see light in the dark tunnel. The light is all this great folks that want to build rule of law and darkness is Serz with his bloodsucking oligarchs and government. We are all tired from Sashiks, Serziks, Nemets, Dods, Lfiks and the rest of the crap of society.
2. HovikUS21:03 - 22 February, 2013
Count me in.
3. Tlkatintsi21:05 - 22 February, 2013
haykUS - Come back now if you can...Armenia needs sincere and dedicated people today. Tell your friends that we are all together in this struggle to rid Armenia of the lies and filth that have polluted the environment and corrupted our people for too long. Believe me, Serzh lost the election and he will soon be stripped of his power. People are waking up to the fact that they can make a difference. Collectively, we can move mountains!! All the best!!
4. Not another dumb Armenian-American00:02 - 23 February, 2013
Serzh fought in the war. He knows how to deal with the Russians and Turks. Serzh is a Artsakh Armenian. He knows how to rule a country. Raffi is a weak leader. He will try to move the country towards the West because he can not communicate with the Russians. This will lead to Armenian concessions to Turks because Russian will turn their back on Armenians. This guy is like Mikael Sakashvilli. He will attempt to talk “big” and then give the Turks a reason to enter Armenia.
5. Jay05:17 - 23 February, 2013
@ haykUS, the light that you see in the dark tunnel is a choo-choo train coming your way, you better run and don't look back. Raffi,is playing with fire sooner or later he'll get burnt. Since when a candidate trailing an incumbent by 22% has been declared winner. Hovhannisian,is not a winner he is a wiener,he should concede defeat,respect the election result,and support the re-elected president.
6. Ed09:14 - 23 February, 2013
Not another dumb, your doubts are your worst enemy. Raffi is nothing like Saakashvili. Saakashvili is anti-Russian - Raffi is not. Sahakashvili is pro-Wester, without even knowing what the west is all about. Raffi was born, raised, and got education in the west. Raffi is pro-Armenians and he's uniting our people. What more can you ask for? Last and not least, don't forget it was Serzh who signed the protocols. Next time think twice before you slander people.
7. Buzand09:14 - 23 February, 2013
I couldn't care if Serzh was born on Kyrpton and had supernatural powers. 75% of the people despise him and his band of oligarch cronies. The other 25% are those reaping the benefits of his plunder through nepotism and feeding from the public trough. And you talk about Serzh being able to deal with the Russians and Turks? The man doesn't have an independent idea in his head. He's a Russian puppet, not the leader of a nation who can come to the table and represent the national interests of Armenia. He has no real "legitimacy" to speak on behalf of the people. How can he instill pride in the armed forces as the "commander in chief" when he lacks the backing of the people? Would you fight for a leader who is squeezing the people dry? Serzh is the one who talks tough but is essentially a "wind-bag" at heart. Go to Artsakh and get a feel for the popular sentiment of the people. Serzh is the one who has openly stated that the "liberated territories" are up for sale! If you don't have the facts at hand sitting in America or elsewhere, then don't presume to speak in the name of the vast majority of RA citizens who have had enough of Serzh and Robert and Dodi Gago and the rest of these clowns masquerading as national leaders. Does anyone in their right mind actually believe that Serzh won 60% of the vote freely and fairly. One would have to be both dumb and naive to believe so!
8. Vahagn13:16 - 23 February, 2013
Էս վըր օրվանիցընք սկսած մինս մինիս հետ անգլերեն կիրել ու խոսել:
9. Ed20:53 - 23 February, 2013
Vahagn jan, ays hodvadz@ nayev anglerenov e grvadz. Meknabanoghneri himnakan mas@ angren@ kardatsoghnern en. )) Ari husanq amen inch Hayastanum barehajogh kavartvi, vor nayev Hayastan-Spyurq kaper@ amrapndven. Da arit kta shat spyurqahayeri vor hajakh aytseln Hayastan u hayereni imatsutyun@ lavatsnen.
10. Gayane20:57 - 23 February, 2013
Shat texin er aknark@. Iskapes HAYER ushqi ekeq, tuyl mi tveq erkrum ankayunutyun tiri. Hangist u xaxax apreq, drsi ujerin tuyl mi tveq xekavaren mer erkir@, ushqi ekeq.
11. Not another dumb Armenian-American23:48 - 23 February, 2013
@Buzand & @Ed: Your understanding of politics is very tertiary. First, it was win for Armenians as it showed the Americans (and their European cousins) that even if Armenians were to go along with the "geopolitical vision" of the "west" Ankara would rather avoid the dialogue even if it is in their favor as it would lead to a "territorial intact" Armenia. Meaning, the protocols and "soccer politics" was ruse that ended in Yerevan's favor as it showed that (a) Turks are not interested in peace, (b) shed some light on Ankara's true foreign policy (i.e. depopulate Armenia and go for land grab), and (c) highlighted the political will of Yerevan to solve their own problems in absence of Russians, Europeans, and Americans "mediation". Second, Serzh had to sign the protocols. Washington wanted a "victory" under the Obama administration. It is blatantly obvious that Yerevan was playing ball with Washington. Pretty much, Yerevan showed Washington that it has the gul to sit down on the table with Turks. Furthermore, it elevated the status of Yerevan in regional geo-politics. Meaning, we are above Baku as now we are communicating with Ankara directly. To have ignored the invitation of the Americans would have been a political loss for Armenians. Whether you would like to accept it or not, the protocols even though they were a risky turn of events, worked out in favor of Armenia. No matter how you view the situation, Americans wanted to bring Ankara and Yerevan together; it was unavoidable. Third, I don't think Raffi is a strong leader. He does not have a the "mannerism" and "character" to negotiate with both Ankara and Moscow. I am not against democracy nor am I against change. Rather, my opinion is that Hovanessian does not have the image that can project Armenian interests forwards. The politics of the "east" is not contingent on the same rules of diplomacy than that of the "west". It is essentially why American and European foreign-policy has largely failed to bring order and rule of law in the region. They are attempting to export leaders that do not have the ability to lead. That is the reality. Fourth, Raffi was part of the corrupt Ter-Petrossian regime. The reality is, again, whether Armenians would like to accept it or not, but their first president and his administration was largely responsible for creating the culture of corruption. I don't blame Bobby, Serzh, and etc. I blame Levon. End of story. Fifth, I don't know where you two are getting the indication of any "back door negotiations for Artsakh". Serzh and his administration have repeatedly stated that there should no pre-conditions for negotiations. Rightfully so, this mantra of no pre-conditions is a fair and balanced policy. Beyond this mantra there can be made no speculation. I would suggest you watch: Tigran Sargsyan Interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNIWq7ikvS8 Public Radio of Armenia Column: http://www.armradio.am/en/2013/02/04/tigran-sargsyan-russia-interested-in-having-a-strong-partner-in-the-caucasus-in-the-face-of-armenia/ Finally, my position has always been that real change in Armenia is (1) contingent on the Armenian people versus their leaders and (2) dependent on the geo-political and economic environment. Honestly, no other country in the world has to deal with closed borders by two hostile nations. Furthermore, our triumphs are always undermined by Azerbaijani and Turkish collusion and dollars. Meaning, it is an environment that breeds corruption. This is not a normal atmosphere. Additionally, I don't believe anyone from outside the ex-Soviet bloc of countries can thrive in this environment. The so-called "criminal" element is a formality of business in this part of the world whether you would like to accept it or not. It is a reality. You can't export the mantra of the "west" to the "east". It is a reality that you must accept. However, I believe aside from these various industry run by oligarchs, there is potential to develop new industries that are not contingent on the importing and exporting of raw materials or traditional industries (which is where most of the monopoly exists). Whether the oligarchs are smart to see that straggling the direct investment into Armenia will lead to their collapse is solely a choice between picking will over indulgence, but I don't necessarily think a "western" minding politician can solve this issue. At the end of the day, they will do what they did ten or so years ago. Finally, Serzh and his administration has shown they are not stupid. This talk of "custom unions" is largely useless to the Armenian economy. In the sphere of defense Armenian-Russian partnership must endure. It is relavent venture for both parties. However, Americans and Europeans can chime in by development partnerships in the economi spheres. Armenia has the potential to develop economically beyond that of Georgia and Azerbaijan due to (1) direct investment by the Diaspora, (2) stronger labor market, and (3) historical and culture evidence of entrepreneurial talents. A few additional points, Armenian economy is robust and a strong foreign-policy. This idea of "custom unions" is a farce. Armenian economy is highly contingent on developing industries with a high-margin of returns. They can't mass produce on the scale of asian tigers. It is not an economic reality. Furthermore, the "customs union" as Sargsyan administration has highlighted is largely revolves around energy. Last note, the failure of the Ter-Petrossian regime highlights the incompetence of anyone tied to that administration to be considered a "viable option" for president. Anyone connected to the first administration should not be considered an option. Leveon's administration was an failure. They bulked under the weight of the blockades. This is largely why Raffi had a fall out with Levon. Now, Raffi is supporting Levon? Now he wants to run for president? Come on, it is time to move forward. These two are relics from the past that have shown that they are not capable to run a country. End of the day, I am not against democracy or change. I just would like to highlight that your tertiary understanding of politics as well as the oppositions balkanization is detrimental to state building. A level of collusion should be warranted. Serzh is a war-hero, why not pick a veteren to run against him? Why are you guys picking people that have shown to be weak and incompetent? Look, at the end of day, I feel safer with Sargsyan than I do with Raffi. Also, there is a level of "show-boating" among Armenian politicians that is almost comical. Let us hope this does end in blood-shed. Finally, going across the country claiming that "I demanded xyz, but Serzh refused" goes to show that he does not have any political will to do anything. It is just idiotic to support Raffi at this stage. If you do not believe in the mantra "political power grows out of a barrel of a gun" then he shouldn't be making idiotic demands. It is a farce at this point irrespective of anyone's stance.
12. Gevorg Der-Galestanian06:19 - 24 February, 2013
TO : (Not another dumb Armenian-American) ; With All These Knowledge And Informations Why Are You Hiding Introduce Yourself Let Us Use Your Direction And Guidance Towards Prosperous Armenia ;. Thank you ,
13. The Angry Armenian20:05 - 24 February, 2013
Raffi received 36-37% thanks to extremely weak opposition groups, indeed parties that were afraid to participate in the election. Why was this the case? First, there was no real opposition candidate, not even LTP (who even could not consolidate its ANC). Second, there was no political, economic, or social program that constituted an alternative to the program of the incumbent. Thus, the lack of a strong oppositional leader and the absence of the opposition per se helped Raffi (whom many leaders of other parties had just ignored over the years) to acquire the support of a disenchanted and tired electorate. Being narcissistic, Raffi became convinced that his mission is to rule over the Armenian people. Why have so many so quickly forgotten that he was even unable to lead MFA, his own research center, Hayastan Himnadram, etc. His party won only 5 (!!) seats in Parliament. If he could not decide whether to be a member of Parliament, how then can he now represent the nation? Our so-called opposition sought to transform the elections into a farce --- and it has succeeded. But now Raffi is playing with fire: he is pushing the country into bloodshed. Shame on you ANC, shame on you Dashnaktutyun, shame on you Barghavatch. And shame on all of you who have made Raffi a national hero. This unfortunate consequence of the election has occurred simply because a viable opposition failed to appear.
14. GB21:00 - 27 February, 2013
"Not another dumb Armenian-American" You had too much of Russian 80 proof vodka, in your blood circulation, like your body Serjik!! Armenian corruption killing ordinary Armenians in Armenia, very shortly Serjik will ask Iranian Turks to be Artsakhi new soldiers!!There is no more room for corruption in poor Armenia's economy system!! That has to stop immediately!!Armenia needs nationalist and educated smart president in volatile Caucasus region. Armenians don't care if the new president is dumb American like 'Mont" or smart politician like Serjik and Robert or LTP!!
15. NADAA02:58 - 1 March, 2013
@GB: What are you blabbing about? Read my post clearly. I am against any "Custom Unions" and so is the Sargsyan Administration. @The Angry Armenian: Exactly. The balkanization of the opposition is what lead to this. @GP: I just don't see any solution to corruption until the culture of corruption is largely eradicated or controlled. By removing Serzh you are not solving the problem. How is Raffi going to convince those criminals without exercising force and if he would like to exercise, how can he be sure he won't be a target? Clearly, replacing one head with another that may not be strong enough to tackle corruption could lead the country into a civil war. Serzh is the keystone that maintains the balance of power. Serzh, if he is smart (or not) would legitimize his regime by tackling corruption. History is often agreed upon by a pen or a gun, but in any case, I wouldn't want to be Serzh if his administration leads to the downfall of the second republic. You fail to think in absolutes. Suppose you give Raffi the keys to the city, who is going to listen if they don't respect him? In that part of the world, respect has strong positive correlation with fear and nobody in Armenia fears Raffi or any "western Armenian". It is the culture that you have to deal with not the leadership as the leaders largely stem from the culture of corruption. Attempting to change the leadership when the rest of the ex-Soviet leadership embellishes corruption as a formality of business, to me, is futile. Unless you are willing to put everyone to the sword, I would be careful about how this situation develops.
16. Yervand11:28 - 1 March, 2013
Some of the commentators argue their points based on the thesis that Serzh is "respected", a "string leader", a "wily politician", as opposed to Raffi and by extension "western Armenians"..They fail to understand that nation building can't be achieved when Serzh enjoys no popular legitimacy ofthe vast majority of the country's citizenry. Domestically, he and his regime do not enjoy "respect", rather they are vilified and despised. This lack of popular legitimacy serves as a convenient trump card by the West to dangle over Serzh''s nose. No wonder he is willing to make concessions on Artsakh and with Turkey. He needs their assistance (MONEY) to keep the economy afloat. Let's not even mention how those funds are misappropriated and pocketed. A strong Armenia will only be built on the backs of citizens who actually believe the government is serving their best interests. Right now, such confidence is totally lacking.
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