By Hovannes Shoghikian
A renowned poet long affiliated with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) has been expelled from the nationalist party after endorsing Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian’s presidential bid, it emerged on Thursday.
The extraordinary move followed Razmik Davoyan’s Tuesday interview with Armenian Public Radio in which he said that only a candidate with a weighty track record deserves to be the country’s next president. “That candidate is Serzh Sarkisian, who has fully exposed his personality to our people with all the work that he has been doing,” said Davoyan.
The remarks were found to be in gross violation of Dashnaktsutyun’s more than century-old by-laws that ban party members from defying or acting against any decision taken by their leadership. Earlier this year, the party represented in Armenia’s government decided not to support Sarkisian’s presidential candidacy and to contest the February 19 election with its own candidate, Vahan Hovannisian, instead.
“Razmik Davoyan has been expelled from the party ranks for violating the party’s by-laws,” a Dashnaktsutyun spokesman, Spartak Seyranian, told RFE/RL. “That is, for publicly agitating for a candidate other than the one nominated by the party in the elections of Armenia’s president.”
Davoyan, who could not be reached for comment, joined Dashnaktsutyun shortly after the party re-established its presence in Armenia in 1990. He later worked as an advisor to President Robert Kocharian on cultural, religious and minority affairs.
(Photolur photo: Razmik Davoyan.)