Heritage party’s leader tours Armenia's regions (video, updated)

14:05 • 07.03.13

As part of his Revolution of Salute, former presidential candidate Raffi Hovhannisian headed Thursday to Talin (Aragatsotn region) to meet with a crowd of supporters.

Speaking at the rally in Armenia’s western town, the Heritage party’s leader said it was a big mistake on his part to place his 2012 parliament bid as a single mandate candidate from Talin (where he received 42% of votes).

“It was very little, yet [the voters] did that. They intimidated [people], distributed money and used state resources to threaten the population. But that’s is the last time it happens. Talin will never again face such a situation,” Hovhannisian promised.

He then called for the Aragatsotn governor, Sargis Sahakyan, to step down and apologize to the people. He also thanked policemen for escorting him across the roads covered with heavy snow.

Continuing his speech, the Heritage leader urged for President Serzh Sargsyan’s resignation, considering his re-election fraudulent.

“I demand that Serzh Sargsyan respect the people’s victory,” he said, repeating an earlier statement that his success in the February18 presidential election was the people’s choice, rather than a race between him and the re-elected president.

“I am obliged to protect that victory for the rest of my life,” Hovhannisiana added.

The Heritage leader will continue his tour later today. He is set to visit the towns of Artik, Spitak and Aparan, as well as the second and third largest cities, Gyumri and Vanadzor.


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Raffi Hovhannisyan in Artik

In his speech in Artik, the Heritage party’s leader said with regret that grief and a big desire to leave the country was all he could see in the people’s eyes.

The overcrowded rally in the town, where Hovhannisian had an advantage of votes over the re-elected president, saw absolutely no incident. Policemen, who were trying to disperse the crowd, would occasionally say that they had closed the roads to prevent more people from attending the event. Their conduct drove young activists to anger, but a further tension was prevented thanks to Hovhannisian who interrupted his speech to ask the participants to avoid bitter remarks.

“If you are going to be intimidated and held accountable, I will call on Serzh [Sargsyan], the captain, to subject me to administrative liability, just now, in front of the people in Artik. If you do not, then never again intimidate the people,” he said.

According to official data, Heritage party Chairman Raffi Hovannisian received 54% of votes in Spitak.

Following his public meeting, he visited the Spitak cemetery. 

“Spitak will be revived – both for itself and for Armenia,” he said.
 He recalled his visit to Spitak a few days after the devastating earthquake in 1988, accompanied by his mother.

In Aparan, Raffi Hovannisian talked to people. One of the residents called on the people “not to follow the March 1 way.” Another resident said that a revolution must be carried out.

Mr Hovannisian assured the citizens that “we are not going to see one more March 1.” “Armenian citizens are much more important that Serzh Sargsyan and Raffi Hovannisian,” he said.

He assured the local residents that “from April 9, presidents and prosecutors will be changed.” “Prosecutors and presidents some and go,” he said.

He said that the Aragatsotn governor must resign and be accountable to the people. 


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