By Emil DanielyanRaffi Hovannisian, Armenia’s U.S.-born former foreign minister, blamed on Tuesday President Robert Kocharian for bloodshed in the previous night’s opposition demonstration, describing him as an “adversary of liberty and right.”
“The official acts of violence unleashed against my fellow citizens I firmly condemn,” Hovannisian said in his first public statement in months. “To their victims I wish a full recovery. To the people struggling in defense of their rights I express my solidarity.”
“In and for this confrontation we all are responsible, but first and foremost the ruler of the republic,” he added.
“As a proud citizen of Armenia, and as an heir of Genocide and its survival who believes in the ultimate triumph of historical truth, I feel profound shame that the contemporary rights and dignity of the Armenian man and woman can so easily and so brutally be violated in our own land.”
Hovannisian was allied with the leader of the opposition Artarutyun bloc, Stepan Demirchian, during last year’s presidential election but subsequently distanced himself from the alliance. The popular ex-minister has since kept a low profile in Armenian politics.