Sarkisian Wants Hovannisian to End Hunger Strike

Sarkisian discussed his Feb. 21 meeting with Hovannisian during a press conference on Monday

YEREVAN—In a rare press conference with Armenia’s broadcast media representatives on Monday, President Serzh Sarkisian said that if he were to meet with opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian, he would ask him to end his hunger strike.

Hovannisian is on the eighth day of a hunger strike, which he announced on March 10 and asked Sarkisian to acknowledge the will of the Armenian people and to meet him at Liberty Square to discuss Armenia’s post-election situation.

Sarkisian said he would not visit Hovannisian in Liberty Square, adding “I ask myself: what should I talk to Raffi Hovannisian about? What should I negotiate on with a man who is bitter at the world and has been hungry for eight days?”

“If I were to go [to the square] I would do that for one purpose: to once again urge and ask Raffi Hovannisian to end the hunger strike and choose other methods of struggle. I’m doing it now.” he said. “Raffi Hovannisian, I am communicating to you end it; I implore you, I ask you…”

“But you know, there is aother very important circumstance: I don’t know the purpose for which Raffi Hovannisian went on hunger strike,” added Sarkisian.
During his meeting with broadcast journalists, Sarkisian went on to enumerate some of the suggestion he made to Hovannisian during their face-to-face meeting days after the presidential elections on February 21.

Sarkisain said after rejecting Hovannisian’s suggestion to call snap parliamentary elections and have a run-off of the presidential voter, he told Hovannisian that he had three options.

First: To go to Liberty Square and continue to insist that he has garnered 80 percent of the votes and attempts to create alternative structures to the authorities. In this scenario, Sarkisian said, law enforcement agencies would do what they have been tasked to do.

Second: Raffi Hovannisian continues to insist that the elections were not fair and that in reality he has garnered a higher percentage of the votes than officially announced. He then fortifies his ranks and takes part in the Yerevan municipal elections garnering the majority of the votes and becomes Mayor of Yerevan, thus the leader of two-thirds of the Republic.

Third: He ceases being part of the opposition and works within government structures to combat corruption and emigration, as he pledged during his campaign.

Sarkisian’s press secretary reported that he would continue meetings with journalists. The next one is expected to be with representatives of the online media community.


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  1. Stepan said:

    Is it possible that President Sargsyan invites Raffi into the government with enough authority and position power to address the domestic agenda. He would be perceived as a united and would effectively dilute the opposition. Raffi, of course, is pretty far down the road to risk “selling out” , but stranger things happen multi-party politics. Each party has to find a way for a “win-win”. Sargsyan has incumbent power, but can not simply ignore Raffi. Raffi has to find a way to advance the cause. Sounds like both parties should have sufficient motivation for a compromise and the Armenian people can be the beneficiary.

  2. GB said:

    Dear Mr. President, it is time to re instate Mr Hovannisian old position as new Armenian Foreign Minister. He is well known during Artsakh war. He is the best choice, for Armenian foreign policy, dealing with European countries, US, and Russia, especially with Turkey and Axerbaijan!!

  3. Aram said:

    Why doesn’t Sarkisian just go away and let some young fresh forward thinking person as Raffi Hovannisian take his place? can it be that complicated?
    People in the government of Armenia are power / pocket hungry, the interest of the nation is certainly not a priority for them. This is a golden opportunity to turn the country around for a better future. I am sure by now the financial savings are sufficient for the old guard to retire and live well. They don’t seem to realize, that they are not going to take it down with them, but nation building, equality and justice for all must move forward.

    • Avery said:

      Why don’t you yourself just go away.
      More than 860,000 RoA voters asked President Sargsyan to stay on the job.

      {“young fresh forward thinking person as Raffi Hovannisian…”}

      Are you really serious ? Mr. Hovannisian is 54 years old. President Sargsyan is 58 years old.
      Both are young in political terms.
      Both are past middle age in chronological terms.

      And what fresh ideas has Mr. Hovannisian published other than vague, vacuous statements such as this: {“ That future is based on a brand new plan that is not 100 pages long, but in terms of its implementation let it be clear that I know exactly where I am going. I also know that the Armenian people will guide me to that final summit..”}

      OK where is it ? Show us that plan already – will ya ?
      The suspense is killing us.

      • Aram said:

        I am saddened to say that your response symbolizes a classic confrontational response with disregard to important social and economic imbalance; driven based on greed. This is exactly what needs to change. Such an ideology and practice will continues to hinder our nation for a substantive and lasting progress.I do not have much to say to you other than recommend that you go back and read carefully what I have written.

  4. Assimilated Armenian said:

    Raffi has too many forces against him. Best that he runs for another high office in Armenia and rally his political troops for the next presidential election when there is no incumbent.

  5. mihran said:

    Unfortunate fraudulency is an accepted norm in our homeland it’s accomplished with great confidence…
    I always believed in both Kotcharian and Sargesyan to be a people of great values they still are however during 12 years of their presidency little was done to help reduce poverty or having the OLIGARCHS under control
    I continue to believe in their abilities in building our army…
    Those who play it foul are the people whom were appointed by the presidents the president doesn’t need to give any instructions to commit fraudulant activities to those appointees the more the president stresses the need for transparent elections those appointees do the exact opposit to secure their jobs . therefore nominations should be removed…..
    Hovanissian’s vision is what our homeland needs because Hovanissian doesn’t belong to the soviet school and he doesn’t sympathize the west over the east…..

  6. Ari said:

    If President Sarkisian wants to be remembered in Armenia’s history, this is the perfect opportunity to show himself as a great leader by offering to share power for the good of the people and future of the country.

  7. An Armenian said:

    Mr. Sarkisian’s Republican party members are comprised of Oligarch politicians who are corrupt to the core including himself. He wants to combat himself and his circle of supporters? He either has a good sense of humor or like the proverbial Ostrich, he has his head in the sand!!!

  8. helen takessian said:

    Hovanissan is an egomaniac and needs to be under psychiatric care. can you imagine him President of Armenia meeting with foreign leaders etc. everytime he didn,t get his way,he would throw a temper tyantrum and go on a fake hunger strike. He has already crowned himself president. there is nothing new he can do. He has no ideas and no leadership qualities Frankly I,m ashamed for him and of him.