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Hrant Gadarigian

March 22, 2013, Liberty Square – Raffi Hovannisian Makes Final "Compromise" Offer to Sargsyan

Calls for a number of state agencies and ministries to be handed over

An overflowing crowd of thousands filled Yerevan’s Liberty Square this evening in the latest round of Raffi Hovannisian’s Barevolution.

An intense encounter unfolded between a top police official and Raffi Hovannisian over the unfurling of an Armenian tri-color banner around the base of the Hovhannes Tumanyan statue.

The police official was arguing a point of law that allegedly bans the “defacement of cultural monuments.”

The two stood nose to nose, the police official arguing that the law had been violated, and Hovannisian arguing that the police did nothing on February 18 to stop election violations and thus, depriving the people of their legal ballot.

The tri-color banner remained where it was.

All the while, Raffi Hovannisian’s parents Richard and Vartiter were sitting below watching the incident unfold. Earlier, Hovannisian’s parents waved to the crowd from the steps of the Opera House.

Raffi Hovannisian then took a few minutes to present the unified “Barev Yerevan” ticket for the upcoming May Yerevan municipal elections.

That ticket is headed by Heritage Party member Armen Martirosyan.

Adopting a more defiant tone, Hovannisian said that he would not permit other forces to manipulate or exploit the people in Liberty Square for partisan and narrow personal interests.

Hovannisian then read a statement that he said would be presented to Serzh Sargsyan including a list of proposals as an exit strategy out of the political stalemate.

He called on Sargsyan to meet the people half way in a new power sharing agreement.

Hovannisian's first demand was for an immediate new round of presidential elections.

He proposed snap parliamentary elections by the end of this year on a 100% proportional basis and a contract to be signed between Raffi Hovannisian and Serzh Sargsyan that would remain in effect until said elections.

The contract calls for the dismissal of five Regional Governors and their replacement with individuals nominated by Hovannisian.

Hovannisian, in his contract to Sargsyan, also calls for the following state bodies to be handed over to the opposition – Prosecutor General’s Office, Tax and Customs Agency, National Security Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education and Science, the Justice Council and the Anti-Corruption Commission.

After reading the document, Raffi Hovannisian then sat and signed the document.

The next figure to address the crowd was Ashot Manoucharyan, a leader of the Karabakh Committee.

In a rousing speech, he said the time had come for the people to take back the power of the government.

Manoucharyan called for the immediate convocation of a people’s congress that would see to it that the natural resources of Armenia be used for educating the children of Armenia and for covering their medical expenses.

Armen Martirosyan then invited Raffi’s father Richard Hovannisian to the microphone.

He said that he had originally opposed Raffi's nomination for president but now is pleasantly surprised that the people had supported his son.

Richard Hovannisian called for dialogue and compromise and related the story of the visit of Catholicos Vazgen I to the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Montebello, California.

Hovannisian recounted that Catholics Vazgen approached the monument and noted that just like Jesus, who was resurrected after third day of his crucifixion, the Armenian people were reborn on May 28, 1918, a mere three years after the national crucifixion of the Genocide.

He concluded by saying that he hoped and believed that the sufferings of the people and the tribulations of his son Raffi would not be in vain but rather would result in a national rebirth.

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