By Tamar Gasparian
On February 22, 2013, I was joined by a group of New York Armenian activists gathered in front of the building of the Armenian Consulate in midtown Manhattan to protest the massive election fraud carried out during the Armenian Presidential Election on February 18, 2013 and which distorted the overall election outcome. Echoing the statements released by many in Armenia and the Diaspora these days, the group announced that until the consequences of the election fraud are addressed or the election is annulled, it is unacceptable to consider Serzh Sargsyan President-elect.
With our protest, we called on the Diaspora organizations to refrain from prematurely congratulating Serzh Sargsyan on re-election and refuse to accept the falsified election outcome. We asked everyone in the Diaspora to support the people of Armenia on their difficult but attainable path of establishing a government that is free of corruption and respects the constitution. Our group also urged the press to not publish the propaganda of the Armenian regime. In my statement I said that it is our duty to make our voices heard, while we demand that the ruling regime of Armenia honors the true votes of its free citizens.
Posters held by us displayed messages, such as “Diaspora is with the Armenian People,” “No to Election Fraud” and “OSCE Report What You See.” We made it clear that our protest was not in support of a particular politician, but rather a demand to the Armenian government to restore and protect its people’s constitutional right to free and fair elections, which had been severely violated during the entire campaign process and Election Day.
At the end of the protest, our group of activists left the posters and a copy of our statement in front of the Consulate entrance. In addition, the Consulate was provided with a copy of PFA’s analysis on the presidential election results indicating that the final outcome of the February 2013 Election was subject to massive manipulations and interference and did not reflect the free will of the Armenian citizens.
Tamar Gasparian is the Communications Director and a Fellow with PFA.