Hovannisian: ‘A New Flood Surges Today in Armenia’

‘Barev Revolution’ Leader outlines plans for the week

YEREVAN (A.W.)—Opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian addressed a large crowd gathered at Freedom Square on Feb. 24, saying that a new flood surges in Armenia today to cleanse the country.

Opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian addressed a large crowd gathered at Freedom Square on Feb. 24, saying that a new flood surges in Armenia today to cleanse the country. (Photo by Khatchig Mouradian)
Opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian addressed a large crowd gathered at Freedom Square on Feb. 24, saying that a new flood surges in Armenia today to cleanse the country. (Photo by Khatchig Mouradian)

“Today in the Ararat plain, in Noah’s world, surges a new flood—clear and clean, and, at the same time, powerful, historic, and forward-looking,” said Hovannisian. “It comes to cleanse our country of all its impurities and lies. And under its waves fear, hatred, evil, envy, and timidity will drown.”

The breath of 1988, and the spirit of 2008 is here with us today, Hovannisian said, noting that “this square does not recognize political parties any longer. It is, first and foremost, the citizens of Armenia that stand here.”

“This is not the Ottoman Empire, this is not the Soviet Union, and it’s crystal clear that those who betrayed the trust of the people will be dethroned, and the Armenian people will ascend to the throne,” Hovannisian said.

A scene from the gathering at Freedom Square on Feb. 24 (Photo by Khatchig Mouradian)
A scene from the gathering at Freedom Square on Feb. 24 (Photo by Khatchig Mouradian)

Hovannisian called on the police to avoid intimidating the public during meetings and rallies. “They’re saying gatherings were illegal. Let them look elsewhere for illegal acts,” he said. “The Armenian citizen is not afraid anymore. We have finally realized that our time has come, and that we are finally becoming a nation, a state, a republic!”

“Those who block roads [to prevent people from attending rallies and meetings] will be held accountable,” he noted.

The week ahead

The opposition leader then outlined his plans for the week. He announced that he will give a press conference on Feb. 25, an hour after the Central Electoral Commission releases the final results of the presidential election.

Hovannisian addresses the crowd (Photo by Khatchig Mouradian)
Hovannisian addresses the crowd (Photo by Khatchig Mouradian)

On Feb. 26, Hovannisian will visit Armavir, Medzamor, Etchmiadzin, Masis, Ardashad, Ararad, Surenavan, Areni, Yeghegnadzor, and Vayk.

On Feb. 27, he will visit Akarag, Meghri, Kajaran, Ghapan, Goris, and Sisian.

On Feb. 28, he will visit Charentsavan, Byureghavan, Nor Hadjin, and Abovyan. On the same day, at 5 p.m., a rally will be held at Freedom Square in Yerevan, featuring speeches by opposition leaders and activists.


    • I was wondering where was Raffi’s team? Why weren’t they standing behind him on that stage? Or, is this a one man show?

      I presume if this doesn’t work, Raffi can still resort to a second hunger strike.

  1. I congratulate Raffi Hovanessian for addressing the large crowd in Freedom Square in Yerevan on the elections and making sure to the police not to take action against the peaceful demonstators as was done in the 2008 elections. His coming visits to numerous villages thru out the country will be great help in explaining to the people the corruption within the government and the election results. The country needs an immediate change and Raffi could be beneficial for those changes.

  2. PFA Publishes Preliminary Analysis on Presidential Election in Armenia


    Please read how fraudulent this election was.

    The European Platform for Democratic Elections Statement on
    Presidential elections

    14:18 23/02/2013
    Story from Lragir.am News:

    The elections were characterised by a lack of political competition,
    low-key campaigning and a relatively low presence of partisan election
    observers in precincts on election-day. This has to be explained with
    the decision of the three main opposition parties not to nominate
    their candidates for the Presidential elections and consequently not
    to deploy their proxies to the election precincts.

    Election day was characterised by a committed election administration,
    which aimed at ensuring a calm voting process. However, during
    election day civic election observers reported on ballot stuffing,
    multiple voting and intimidation of voters through proxies of one of
    the candidates, which raises concern on the fairness of the electoral
    process. Some of those election precincts where civic election
    observers monitored the voting process showed a significant lower
    voter turnout (up to 25%) than neighbouring election precincts – often
    in the same building -where no observers were present. The precincts
    with inflated voter turnout showed higher voting results for the
    incumbent Serge Sargsyan than for his competitor Raffi Hovhannisyan.
    These observations give ground to suppose that both the voter turnout
    and voting results have been subject to manipulation on election day.

    The new election code provides in general an adequate framework for
    the conduct of transparent and democratic election and includes wide
    competences for the conduct of civic election observation. Civic
    election observation in Armenia deserves special attention by Armenian
    and international institutions. Legal provisions for civic election
    observation should be further improved and methodological support be
    reinforced in order to further develop civic control over electoral
    processes in the country and to increase public trust in national and
    international democratic institutions.

    Full report

    • Hye3:
      I am not sure you help Raffi Hovhannisian by quoting this study from the so-called PFA, a group who has no qualifications in running or evaluating elections. I don’t understand what qualifies them to provide such an analysis, and who paid them to do that .
      I will refer the readers to their report in Dec 2008 where they reported that the price of gold would drop. I am sure everyone knows by now how wrong they were, even if their co-founder and principal author of the report works for the IMF.
      But don’t take my word for it, just look how this same co-founder of PFA tries to bully an Armenian Weekly reader who criticised them. See the comments part on this page: http://armenianweekly.com/2010/03/31/hovannisian-%e2%80%98armenia-diaspora-relations-20-years-since-independence%e2%80%99/

  3. More than ever we need a unity government. He might be a demagogue but he is our demagogue. Most global politicians are – but if they surround themselves with good, professional advisers they can develop better political and leadership skills. Let us work with him and others who also participated.

  4. I haven’t noticed any divisive statements or action on the part of Raffi so far, as some of our compatriots claim in these pages. Of course, we don’t know how he will act in future wen he enters into power games in the politics of Armenia. But, one thing is sure: His victory has opened up new prospects for positive change and more active participation of the citizens in the fate of their country in an otherwise demoralized society.

    • I support the people of Armenia taking steps to assert their rights as citizens, demand much needed increase of freedom and fairness in Armenia, and less control by oligarchs.

      I admire Raffi Hovanissian for leading the charge and wish him success. But what are his practical plans for improving life in Armenia?

      Even if Raffi himself is making few divisive statements, and even if the ‘barevolution’ nobly seeks to elevate the ‘everyman’ in Armenia, the current movement is nonetheless divisive. Mob rule is not a preferred substitute for oligarchy, even if it espouses democratic ideals.

      I hope to see this current mobilization of the citizenry instill hope and lead to less passivity and acceptance of corrupt practices, but only within the framework of democratic processes: majority rule as determined by free, fair and competitive elections and the rule of law.

  5. Some army units secretly instructed to be ready for dispersing supporters of Raffi Hovhannisian


    Monday, February 25, 14:52

    Some units of the armed forces of Armenia are said to have been secretly instructed to be ready for dispersing the supporters of Raffi Hovhannisian.

    A source close to the army has told ArmInfo that the order was given after Hovhannisian’s unsanctioned rally in Liberty Square on Feb 21.

    “The operation was scheduled for Feb 24 but their next rally was not so dangerous,” the source said.

    The runner-off in the Feb 18 presidential election Raffi Hovhannisianrefuses to accept its results and is conducting rallies all over Armenia.

  6. Boyajian
    Quite agree and hope so too.
    I hope Hovanissian and his party will not get overexcited and carried away by self-pride and conceit. They have won a deserving victory and they can be a force for much needed change in Armenia if they act sensibly. They should look to the prospects of sharing power peacefully now that they matter in the society rather than letting the public euphoria slide into mob rule in the streets. Mr. Sarkissian too as the official winner has to act quickly with a view to ensure that the presidential runner-up and his party have commensurate representation in the government apparatus. I hope both Sarkissian and Hovanissian will act as grown-up men and not act from the positions of arrogance.

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