President Serzh Sarkisian on Thursday spoke of many mistakes committed by him but said Armenians should nevertheless vote for his reelection if they want justice and prosperity in their country.
“I feel sorry for my own mistakes, which have not been few and which nobody knows better than I,” he said during an election campaign rally in Ashtarak, a town 30 kilometers west of Yerevan. “But I never forgot [U.S. essayist Ralph] Emerson’s following words, ‘The greatest courage is not to never fall but to stand up after every fall.’”
Sarkisian, who has governed Armenia for the past five years, did not elaborate on his mistakes.
“If you reject the notion that the wealth of our people belongs to a handful of individuals, make your voice heard in these elections,” Sarkisian told a large crowd that gathered in Ashtarak’s central square. “If you reject the notion that our government is hostage to a handful of rich individuals you must participate in these elections.”
“If you agree that our country needs a new economy and well-paid jobs, if you believe that we must live in a just country, don’t stay at home,” he added.
Campaigning in the southeastern Syunik province late last month, the incumbent admitted failing to deliver on some of his 2008 pre-election promises. He said that was the result of his desire to effect sweeping socioeconomic and other changes in the country within a short period.
Sarkisian on Wednesday also declared that law-enforcement authorities have solved the January 31 shooting attack on one of his election challengers, Paruyr Hayrikian. “Just a few days ago our law-enforcement bodies solved a crime committed against the life of a figure engaged in a political struggle and arrested the criminals,” he said. “That work style has become a reality thanks to you, your demands for changes in the law-enforcement system.”
The National Security Service (NSS) last week arrested two men suspected of shooting and wounding Hayrikian. It said they both confessed to the crime. Still, the NSS has not yet clarified whether it believes they acted alone or on others’ orders.