ARF Chairman Evaluates Changes Discusses Policy

Although the resignation of Levon Ter-Petrosyan comes as a surprise to most–it is the end result of years of struggle for the absolute freedom of the Armenian people–said Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western US Central Committee chairman Dr. Viken Hovsepian in an interview. The realization of the Armenian nation’s struggle for justice and democracy has entered a new phase–he said. "It is important to not allow this period to be considered an ending point–but rather as a link in the long chain which guides us to our national ideals."

Hovsepian emphasized the necessity to adhere to the people’s just need of free–fair and unrestricted elections. "We hope–and furthermore–we are confident that the last page of dictatorship has been turned in Armenia. It remains for our people to have the opportunity to express their voice and free will–and in a short period of time to acquire new national achievemen’s through presidential and parliamentary elections," the ARF representative stressed.

In addition to the constitutionally mandated forthcoming presidential elections–Hovsepian deemed it pertinent to hold new parliamentary elections–as well–since the current National Assembly is a reflection of Ter-Petrosyan’s dictatorship and was borne from his administration.

Hovsepian found this moment in history to be extremely fragile and recommended careful evaluation and management of issues so that the best possible outcome is rendered.

He commented that a transfer of power presented a nation with unprecedented opportunity to assert its national values–however–the opportunity can very easily fall victim to exorbitant behavior. In order to avoid the latter–Hovsepian stated that the ARF not only wishes for–but also deman’s–swift–peaceful–free and fair elections.

As to Ter-Petrosyan’s 1994 ban of the ARF–Hovsepian explained that the ARF was a pioneer in sounding the alarm that Ter-Petrosyan and his administration were on the path of destruction of not only the country–but also of the people’s ideals and moral fiber. Today–said Hovsepian–it seems as though people have come to the realization that the ARF’s assessment of the situation was–in fact–correct.

Whether or not that was the intention–continued Hovsepian–the damage Levon Ter-Petrosyan brought to the ARF could be characterized as strikes against the entire nation. Although shaken–the ARF was able to maintain its balance–Hovsepian affirmed. According to him–prioritizing the good of the nation–the ARF refrained from exploiting the situation and rejuvenated itself and its struggle for justice–freedom and the Armenian Cause. "We anticipate the immediate reinstatement of the ARF and a reversal of wrongs committed against members of the ARF," Hovsepian stressed.

In response to a question regarding Ter-Petrosyan’s policy on Karabakh–Hovsepian explained that had there not been pressures from Karabakh and the Armenian people in general–Levon Ter-Petrosyan would have compromised Karabakh a long time ago. However–Hovsepian continued–both the people and the healthy nationalist elemen’s in circles of power said "no" to him. Hovsepian acknowledged and congratulated the faction of the government which displayed commendable efforts toward the benefit of Karabakh.

"Today–more than ever–we are in need of national accord and unity," said Hovsepian. It is not time to denounce all those who have committed misdeeds throughout Armenia and the Diaspora in the past five or six years–he said–assuring that–in time–people and history will judge them appropriately.

"However–today–with renewed spirit the entire nation needs to congregate and together strive for a truly democratic–truly free and truly national government throughout the Armenian world," he continued.

"Our foremost mission right now is to provide accurate and substantial information to political circles in the United States–so that they are able to properly evaluate developmen’s. It is our goal to prove to American political officials that the goings-on in Yerevan are paving the path to democracy. And–we are happy to report that our mission has thus far been successful. Ultimately–it is our responsibility to utilize all resources–putting to work the Armenian community–so that through information gathered from the most reliable sources–it can maintain its spiritual bond with our fellow nationals in Armenia."

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