YEREVAN (Yerkir)–Armenian Presidential candidate and member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau Vahan Hovannesian Friday issued an announcement, in which he assessed Tuesday’s presidential elections and announced his resignation from the post of Deputy Speaker of the Armenian Parliament.
Below is the translated text of the announcement:
I appeal to you personally, as a presidential candidate of the Republic of Armenia. During this entire process, I waged a campaign solely utilizing political methodology, and based on ideological and moral values. I spared no effort to maintain the campaign within the confines of constructive political discourse, in order for the electorate to make a positive rather than a negative choice. I attempted to persuade our citizens that victory was, indeed, possible.
I was not successful. The pre-election campaign was marred by an atmosphere of hatred, terror and threats. This left its mark on the day of the election.
Varying degrees of election violations, rampant bribery and violence in some precincts further exacerbated the public’s suspicion and mistrust, which with every passing election has become more rooted.
Once again, the people’s right to freely express its political will was curtailed, and our citizens’ dignity was trampled on.
The ARF Supreme Council of Armenia is currently evaluating precinct reports from various regions and it will present its assessment in an announcement.
However, despite this evaluation, I have made my own personal decision. I am resigning from the post of Deputy Speaker of the Armenian National Assembly.
Fellow Armenia’s, through my initiatives and campaign I was attempting to show you a way out of this situation that’s been repeated with every passing election. If, this time around, many did not see this option, it does not mean that it does not exist. After all, at least 100,000 people believed and trusted me. Based on this I can proudly assert that in Armenia I have a devoted, intelligent and uncorrupted army of supporters, with whom and in whose name it will be possible to wage a struggle to build a proud homeland. I thank all those who believed in me and saw my stated solution.
I thank all those who voted frankly and were not swayed by the blinding hatred, fear or greed.
And, of course, I would like to thank my ARF “ungers” and party supporters and my team members, whose dedication, confidence and belief gave me the strength to move forward.
I call for calm and restraint. Today those who are opting to take the dissent route should remember and understand the crime they committed and the wrath they brought onto our people when they brutally forged the 1996 presidential elections, unleashing a self-perpetuating electoral fraud machine, which we have been unable to stop even till this day. But, this is not going to last forever. I am calling on you to await our victory with sober confidence.
I wish success to all my challengers and wisdom and resoluteness to Armenia’s next president so, in the coming years, he can achieve such great reforms in order that during the next elections the leadership would not have to rely on money, administrative resources and the criminal elemen’s that often are affiliated with them, but rather be able to count on political forces and the people’s confidence.
Dear, compatriots, I call on you not to give up or be disappointed. Ours is a long struggle.