Robert Kocharian Nominated for President

YEREVAN (Yerkir/Armenpress/RFE/RL)–On Thursday–as stipulated by the Election Code of Armenian–a citizens’ initiative group of 287 people nominated Robert Kocharian for president. The group’s formal nomination and accompanying documentation will be submitted to the Central Elections Commission (CEC) for registration. Robert Kocharian–Prime Minister Margarian and ARF Bureau Chairman Hrant Markarian were present at the nomination ceremony.

In his opening speech–People’s Artist of Armenia Sos Sarkissian praised Kocharian’s foreign policy–and the progress of the country–despite existing defects.

Businessman Hrant Vartanian and Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian spoke of advancemen’s in Armenia under Robert Kocharian. "On the threshold of elections all of us must give an answer to one question: do we want all the processes directed towards the well-being of our country and our nation to continue? I think–the answer is clear." said Oskanian

ARF Armenia Supreme Council representative Armen Rustamian spoke on behalf of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF). Comparing today’s Armenia with pre-Kocharian Armenia–Rustamian said–"The situation is quite different today as we are now addressing national goals and this should not be ignored. . . There are–of course–problems that still need to be solved: people live in difficult social conditions–they crave justice–corruption and black economy still exist but we believe that there is the understanding and the will to solve these problems."

In his speech–Kocharian said "At present there are many issues which still remain unsettled but progress is reported as well… The country has entered a period of sustainable development–and that is what matters,"

Expressing gratitude to the political forces supporting him–Kocharian said: "I am sure that it is impossible to lose with such a team. I still have much to do. There are programs which we must started and implement together."

ARF ARMENIA SUPREME COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVE ARMEN RUSTAMIAN SPOKE TO A CITIZENS’ INITIATIVE GROUP GATHERED TUESDAY TO FORMALLY NOMINATE ROBERT KOCHARIAN FOR PRESIDENT.

Dear compatriots,

Everything is known by contrast.

We all remember what the environment of the country was not long ago; national ideology was renounced and any form of national solidarity seemed to be a delusion. Those were not mere words but state policy guidelines.

They were trying divide us. Tiny Armenia was being divided into smaller parts–and protecting yourself became your business.

In a country that was at war–they kept looking for internal enemies. The Diaspora was put in a position of an outsider and was discredited. They were saying that the Diaspora was not a part of our strength–but it was just a faceless crowd of orange eaters. The introduction of egocentric ideas to society began to diminish the last hopes of forming a civil society able to carry out national goals. A gradual policy to dismiss the victorious Artsakh war was being adopted.

The situation is quite different today; we are now addressing or national goals–to ignore this is dangerous for us and for our future.

There are–of course–problems that still need to be solved: people live in difficult social conditions–they crave justice; corruption and black economy still exist but we believe that there is the understanding and the will to solve these problems."

By endorsing Robert Kocharian’s candidacy–the Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s goal is to back the course aimed at strengthening our national values and preventing [the emergence of] anti-national ideologies of any type–whether Bolshevik-style internationalism or ANM-style cosmopolitanism.

We must carry on the logic of the 1998 change of power so that our people retrieve the powerful potential the 1998 national awakening gave to them–so that the love and unity necessary to lead us to new victories is reestablished in our country.

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