Sarkisian-Ter-Petrosian Tango Can’t be Good for Armenia

Ter-Petrosian addresses protesters on Thursday


The ongoing dance between President Serzh Sarkisian and Armenian National Congress leader Levon Ter-Petrosian continued Thursday as the latter claimed victory to his supporters by saying that recent overtures by the president have enhanced the climate for dialogue.

Ter-Petrosian also claimed that the authorities had given in to three of his main demands outlined earlier this year in his version of manifesto. Several weeks ago, Sarkisian told law enforcement agencies to conduct a thorough investigation into the March 1, 2008 clashes following the presidential election. Earlier this week, the ban on gatherings and demonstrations in Liberty Square were lifted and, during a press conference Wednesday, Sarkisian praised the “extra-parliamentary opposition” and signaled that more prisoners—Ter-Petrosian loyalists—will be freed.

These gestures from both sides are self-serving, at best. However, the real danger will be if this so-called “dialogue” turns into collusion, which will set Armenia back decades. In the end, the Armenian people will pay the price, once again.

“In this process, the people are becoming a tool, an observer,” Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s Armen Rustamian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service on Thursday. “Under the worst-case scenario, those political forces will agree on something but the people will eventually gain nothing from that.”

“Right now I don’t see signs that this dialogue will lead to a meaningful improvement of the existing situation,” added Rustamian.

After all Sarkisian and Ter-Petrosian are birds of the same feather. It was their mutual interests that guided Armenia’s domestic economic and foreign policies in the early days of independence and has turned Armenia into a monolithic oligarchy and has not created an atmosphere where new—young—leaders can emerge and true change can be implemented.

As early as last week, Ter-Petrosian was reiterating his failed position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, when he told the BBC’s Russian service that if Karabakh lands were given back to Azerbaijan, the conflict would have ended a long time ago. He also claimed that he was not allowed to see this brilliant vision through due to opposition from Karabakh and his inner circle.

Armenia’s current situation on all fronts is dire and neither Ter-Petrosian nor Sarkisian are proposing any concrete changes to turn the tide and initiate positive change. Both men are motivated by securing their place in authority and as we’ve seen in the past, self-righteously rule over Armenia rather than lead it.

Perhaps after this “dialogue” (if it ever transpires) will once and for all convince Armenia’s voters to abandon these Soviet vestiges that have looted the national wealth, consciousness and psyche and look inward to find alternatives who can properly lead and strengthen the Armenian state.

It is up to people to end this political grandstanding by claiming their rights as citizens.

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  1. Zohrab said:

    The ARF needs to wake up. We need Armenian revolutionaries, not soviet sycophants posing as Armenians.

    • bigmoustache said:

      agreed, we need a little bit of ‘un-democratic’ ‘cleaning up’ of hayasdan

  2. Stephen Bekian said:

    I think Ter Petrossian is a traiter , why he wants to give land to the Azeries ? that land is Armenia’s land
    ever sinse Dikran the great , it is not enough that we lost our presious land to Turkey , yes Western Armenia
    do you think the Turks will give us those land that they robbed , ………

    • Ara said:

      That land was ours before Tigran the great so your mistaken and they have to give the land back ig the genocide is accepted

  3. Levon Lokmanian said:

    ter-petrosian is the biggest threat to the future of Armenia he is the Trojan Horse of the enemy of Armenia and should never be allowed in the political process.

  4. Hayq said:

    Had Armenians given up on Artsakh, the Azeris would have wiped out anything Armenian there and seen an esay chance to take Syunik. I am all for peace, but peace with Azeris comes when war is also an option. Look at the conflict Azeris are bringing to Armenian communities across the world. This is their mentality, exhibited daily. Look at what they did to Armenian culture in Nakchivan; destroyed. Ter-Petrossian wants to make peace with them because he knows he can run away and leave the Armenian people there to suffer.

    Armenia needs Russia and Armenia needs Artsakh. We move together and even regardless of these blockades and pressure from abroad, we are right and the world will eventually see that we are the ones that deserve those lands.

    Azerbaijani leadership is crumbling day by day and now this guy Petrossian wants to make trouble in Armenia and bring peace with Azerbaijan? I say we hold our ground as we have for the past 4000 years and watch our neighbors destroy themselves.

  5. chello said:

    Like it or not, the forces and people rallying around HAk represent the only actual opposition in Armenia today. I do not agree with many aspects of the HAK and its “down from the top” politcs. But what is the alternative. Does the author have any practical alternatives. Surely he doesn’t see the ARF-D as one in Armenia and neither do average RA citizens. LTP yesterday said the door was half-opened to “dialgue” but that the release of all political prisoners remains the deciding point as to whether this process can continue or whether the opposition’s strategy will change. I too am waiting to see how the regime responds by the next HAK rally on May 31st.

    • Araxi said:

      LTP would love to see Armenia without Armenians. How can you be so naive as to even think about HAK ruling our country. They need to come back to finish it off once and for all. Don’t you know this?
      Do you want that?

  6. Heghapokhagan said:

    Levon Der Bedrosianeen massin… Kayl Kayl!!! gue borank yev joghovourte medeek tch’ener!! Kennatsadz Hayer

  7. Anahid Keussdeyan said:

    It will take few generations until the population of Armenia matures and gets rid of the shackles of subjugation. Ter Petrosian and the entourage are fully responsible for the corrupt practices as they couldnot hold the sentiments of the people for a NEW beginning. One must ask the members of the party, who pocketed the moneys in selling the SATELITE to Koreans for 5million misearable dollars.

    Ter Petrosian, being a historian is singing the wrong song for returning land to gain peace. What a shame. Even the thought makes me shiver.

  8. Berge Minasian said:

    Maybe president Sarkissian is reacting to the fact the American funding for infrastructure projecfs have been halted until there is evidence that the Armenian government is becoming more transparent and more Democratic.

    • said:

      What American funding? What does “American funding” mean? The funny money borrowed from Chinese? China figured out how to fund Armenian projects without the middle man.

  9. Avedis said:

    This guy does not understand that he is a political corp? No body cares about him anymore (exept Turkey that is his employer and pays him).

    • Araxi said:

      Ոչ միայն թուրքը, այլ մեր դարավոր թշնամին “since biblical times.”
      Not to say the least about the two Sargissyans running the country. They are both birds of a feather.
      Armenians and Armenia deserve better. We need Armenian patriots!

  10. manooshag said:

    TerBedrossian is mentally unstable… (like a HItler, Stalin, and more). When TerBedrossian opposed the
    ARF of Haiastan joining with the worldwide ARF… he proved he was evil – not a patriot – but a mentality to bring mayhem and havoc to fledgling Haiastan, to all Armenians, together, worldwide.

    Such evil minds should not be a leader of any nation – too, a Serge and cohorts too – not patriots!!

  11. Z said:

    If the only alternative to Sarkissian is Ter-Petrossian, then Sarkissian should serve a second term. Armenians of Armenia are kind of soft, Karabaxtçis seem to have stronger character, stronger will, so let the strongest Armenians do the things. Ter petrossian is not an option.

  12. Hetyotn said:

    With respect, but Levonik already had his chance and not too long ago. And his presidency was no good.
    Also, I don’t think he can be qualified as a ‘historian’, maybe a librarian. I am not clear what he researches exactly, or when, since he is in the street the whole time.

  13. Arziv said:

    Petrosian is a traitor par excellence. It is a sell out. It is outrageously disconcerting that this traitor is the head of a political party and has a following. Notwithstanding this, the traitor is now cozying up to Sarkissian, or vice a versa. Why doeas Sarkisisan pays attention to this sell out ? It seems that the political turf in Armenia is monopolized by Sarkissian’s and the traitor’s party . It is a dual political patent to rule Armenia . If that is the case the future can not be gloomier. We have to rely on the turk’s recalcitrance and reluctance to parley with Armenia . The political duet does not inspire confidence. After all Sarkissian football diplomacy, and cheering the goals the turkish side scored, is not far off the traitors petrossian’s medley with bartering Karabagh and opening the borders and falling into the turkish deathly embrace, economic dependency and colonialism in the turkish orbit. The football fiasco ended to Armenia’s advantage , not because of Sarkissian’ political acumen ; but thanks to the instransigence and disinterst of the Guls and Erdogans. We need to pray that Turkey gets blessed with leaders like the Gulws and erdogans so as to thwart the political amateurs of the Armenian state.

  14. Lusik said:

    ” … a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them.”
    Write and read with care and responsibility. With honesty.

  15. Zograp said:

    Լևոն քեզ  պետք է նշանակել որսորդմիության նախագահ մեկ գիշերվա մեջ լրիվ թափառական շներին կրակեք

  16. Satenik said:

    Traitors should be dealt severly, so that they don’t sell not only the land but also the people to the enemy!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We all know what this ogre LTP wants to do. He should have no support whatsoever! He should be kicked out of Armenia! He is a cancer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. bigmoustache said:

    radical problems require radical solutions.
    a ‘hurricane’ needs to sweep over that country

  18. Tiko said:

    I think residents of Armenia want to reach Europe and the world without passing by are northern schizophreniac neighbour, and are tired of the blockade due to the border issues whit Turkey and Azerbaboons, thereby supporting idiots like Ter-Petrossian. But they should not bow down to the Turks and stay proud. after all we are survivors, and this is the way it is, maybe I am being selfish because I don`t live in Armenia anymore but I think the diaspora structures should be way more organized to help by all means are motherland and make sure to keep out a cancer like Ter-petrossian who I think should be exiled.

  19. manooshag said:

    How and where and when is the right time for our citizens of Armenia to know and to learn the vile corruption that reeks of TerBedrossian and Serge and his cohorts. How can we reach the Armenian citizenry to make them aware that they must vote for honest patriots to bring Haiastan to greatness and advances for ALL the citizens of Hiastan… not just for those who are now in government, police and our religious leaders filling their pockets, and who are still of the communistic mentality – and who are not true patriots as we have had throughout our Armenian history!!