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Press Review


(Saturday, March 2)

“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” complains that opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian apparently remains reluctant to openly declare what his supporters think: Serzh Sarkisian was not reelected president and the opposition must keep fighting for the formation of a legitimate government. “Raffi Hovannisian is not saying this, he is stalling for time,” claims the paper. “Instead Raffi Hovannisian speaks of many other things: patriotism, exercising rights, political will, the supremacy of the constitution, his and his relatives’ dreams, dreams of the people grouped around him, his grandfather, father, mother and lots of other people,” it says. “This is becoming unserious.”

“Aravot” quotes Aram Manukian, a senior member of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), as saying that he will join Hovannisian’s rallies in Liberty Square if he sees more “clarity” there. Manukian emphasizes the fact that the HAK does not recognize the legitimacy of the official results of the February 18 presidential election. “What happened [on February 18] was pretty much a repeat of what happened in 2008 and 2003: mass falsifications,” he says. “Naturally, the people have taken to the streets to fight for their rights. I am very happy that there is such a struggle and spirit. Our activists are also taking part and want change.”

In an interview with “168 Zham,” Levon Zurabian, another HAK figure, dismisses as “absurd” Hovannisian’s recent remark that both President Serzh Sarkisian and his two predecessors, Robert Kocharian and Levon Ter-Petrosian, must be questioned in connection with the 2008 post-election violence in Yerevan. Zurabian says the violence stemmed from an illegal crackdown on peaceful protests that was unleashed by a “dictatorial regime.” “Most people … know that this regime, which was headed by Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian in 2008, is solely to blame for that,” he says. “He who wants to prevent a repeat of such events in the future must be very explicit in his evaluations.”

“To be honest, I and my comrades are now discussing how we can do a revolution,” Sos Gimishian, a prominent opposition politician, tells “Hraparak.” “We need to go to the provinces, just like Raffi Hovannisian is doing now, and set up an Armenia Committee in every province,” he says. “Such committees made up of 5-10 members would create their own armies [of followers] in each community. Those groups of teammates and like-minded people would be ready to solve an important issue at any moment.”

(Aghasi Yenokian)
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