Hovannisian Vows to Continue Popular Movement

Thousands gather at Liberty Square Friday at a rally, which has grown into a popular movement (photo by Khatchig Mouradian, The Armenian Weekly)

ARF Joins the Movement

YEREVAN—“This popular struggle will not die down. We will achieve victory,” said opposition presidential candidate Raffi Hovannisian on Firday as he addressed thousands of supporters who had gathered at Liberty Square to hear a briefing on his meeting Thursday with Serzh Sarkisian at the Presidential Palace.

Hovannisian, who addressed the crowd that has been multiplying exponentially since Monday’s elections, reported that Sarkisian rejected all of his proposals, which aimed to satisfy the aspirations of Armenia’s citizens following the presidential polls.

Raffi Hovannisian beriefs protesters on his meeting with Serzh Sarkisian Thursday (photo by Khatchig Mouradian, The Armenian Weekly)

Hovannisian said that among the points discussed with Sarkisian was holding of repeat elections, the response to which was a “No.” He then proposed snap parliamentary elections based on a representative system. “What do you think was the answer? No,” said Hovannisian.

“I have nothing to say to these de facto leaders anymore,” added Hovannisian.

“I stand before you to say that we will not surrender, we will not hide, and we will not rest until the voice of our people is heard in our government. City by city, village by village, we will take our country back,” said Hovannisian, who announced that he would be expanding this movement to regions outside of Yerevan with rallies in Vanadzor, Gyumri and Ashtarak on Saturday. He asked the people to reconvene at Liberty Square at 3 p.m. Sunday to further the movement.

ARF Joins the Movement
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation joined the thousands upon thousands of Armenian citizens gathered at Freedom Square Friday, with the party’s Supreme Council of Armenia representative Armen Rustamian delivering a powerful message of solidarity with the people.

After a series of speeches by Raffi Hovannisian’s Heritage Party leaders, other opposition leaders, civil society activists, and artists, Hovannisian introduced Rustamian, saying: “Today we are joined by a political figure whose party, our party, the party of my ancestors, in the name of the fatherland, unity, our national interests, the rights of the citizen, and our  state’s sovereignty, wages a struggle wherever it is necessary, from Strasbourg to Ankara to Moscow to Washington…. Please welcome the representative of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Armen Rustamyan.”

ARF Supreme Council representative Armen Rustamian says the "Movement is unstoppable" (photo by Khatchig Mouradian, The Armenian Weekly)

Rustamian first spoke of the ARF decision to come to Freedom Square. “For a few days now, Freedom Square was waiting for—and wanted to see—the ARF. And we are now here! We have come here, to this rally, because as we announced earlier, the ARF stands with you, with the people,” he said.

Rustamian noted that the Armenian people proved on Feb. 18 that it’s impossible to kill justice and freedom. He said, “The people does not tolerate the rotten political, social, economic, and moral environment.”

Rustamian joined other opposition leaders at the rally in their criticism of the statements of international observers, who deemed the elections fair. “Regardless of what the international observers say, it is you who took part in the election, and you know all too well what really happened,” Rustamian said.

“This is an unstoppable movement to establish the rule of the people,” argued Rustamian.

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  1. sam said:

    as long as the demonstrations are peaceful, is welcome, we can express our demands and anger without harming each other such as burning and breaking cars and store fronts is unacceptable .the message is loud and clear people are sick and tired of oligarch and the corruption. we can no longer afford to loose armenians for migration from armenia. we need a patriotic president who cares about armenia and armenians before any thing else.

  2. www.Voskanapat.info said:

    Mr. Hovannesian has four sons, right? What are their ranks in Armenian or Artsakh army? How many tours of duty did they have on the border with Axerbaijan? Just curious.

    “I am already the elected president of the Republic of Armenia,” he told the enthusiastic crowd in the city’s Liberty Square.

    On the same day when he was saying these words (February 19, 2013), PFC Gor Ghazaryan (born Dec. 20, 1992), an Armenian soldier from Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, was shot dead by Azeri Turk sniper on Artsakh’s North Eastern border. I would like to know if “the President” acknowledged this soldier’s sacrifice at any of his meetings?

    • GB said:

      We don’t go backward we are going forward, nobody blames our Artsakhi heroes and those “Fadai” freedom fighters, heroes like Monte and Gore! Armenia needs more educated and nationalist politicians than ever before, we need stronger and better army for tomorrow!! Armenia losing population every day, due to corruption and lack of government control over unjust organized criminals. Armenia needs more population and world stage politicians, unfortunately we don’t have them yet!!

    • fact said:

      Armenia wil never forgett heroic solders like Gor Ghazaryan, our thoughts are with him and his family-..
      DId our PM ever went to military? NO , how about other memebrs of ruling eleit ?
      Rafi Hovanessian is an example and a sourceof ope and peopel are in the opinoin that there can be alternativ to the ruling eleit and levon and so on

    • Mike said:

      I don’t understand the relevance of whether or not his sons have had tours of duty in Artsax to him being elected president. Last I checked, there is no such pre-requisite to becoming a president in modern day Armenia. If you have followed his political history, you most definitely would know how passionate he is towards the Artsax struggle, so that in and of itself should answer your question. Of course this man acknowledges every Armenian soldier’s sacrifice, past and present.

      • www.Voskanapat.info said:

        Did you hear him acknowledging Gor’s sacrifice? This website had stopped publishing stories about sniper attacks on the border with Axerbaijan long time ago. You can’t find this information in pro-Raffi publications. All they do is re-posting Radio Free Europe propaganda articles about “skirmishes” on the border.

        I really don’t know how passionate he is. All I know is that he is an American lawyer and politician who says what people and his sponsors want to hear. But deeds are louder than words. People know that and ask inconvenient questions. They want to know more about his Baku visit fiasco and yes, his sons military service. It is not a prerequisite of course, but it could be a sign of corruption if they dodged the draft. Unlike in America, all Armenian men have to serve in the army. And if they don’t they are either disabled or paid bribes to avoid service.

  3. Steve said:

    Bravo Raffi bravo Tashnagstuyiune. Hima mer measnaganutioune ne miyain vor bedee haghte!

  4. Parandzem Yerevantsi said:

    why hasn’t this been posted? Don’t you believe in free speech?

  5. Satenik said:

    Mr. Hovhanisian should exit gracefully! I’ve written this same sentence last week, but it is still awaiting for moderation. Hope that this one will be printed earlier. Thank you.