Hovannisian Defiant as Official Election Results Released

YEREVAN (A.W.)—A few hours after the official results of Armenia’s presidential election were released, a defiant Raffi Hovannisian gave a press conference saying that he will continue the struggle in the courtroom and in Freedom Square.

An activist on Freedom Square holds a sign condemning election fraud. (Photo by Khatchig Mouradian, The Armenian Weekly)
An activist on Freedom Square holds a sign condemning election fraud. (Photo by Khatchig Mouradian, The Armenian Weekly)

The opposition leader also made it clear during the press conference that he does not expect a quick and swift resolution to the post-election challenges. “This is not my struggle anymore, nor the struggle of my ‘team,’” he said. “Let people not think that this is an issue that will be resolved in a day,” arguing that creatively and collectively, he will continue the struggle.

“I am an Armenia-centric citizen,” said Hovannisian, adding that those who talk of leaders who are pro-Russia or pro-America will have to change their ways, or else the new generation will come and remove them from their posts.

Hovannisian stressed that the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) and all those who took part in rigging the election must and will be held accountable. He also said those who try to impede the movement of the people will also have to answer for their actions. “I have to go to the place I please in Armenia to say barev [to greet] and thank the people,” he said.

The “barevolution” leader also said he will do his utmost to avoid scenarios that could lead to bloodshed. “I will not allow a single drop of blood to shed,” he noted, and cautioned the authorities not to confuse this with lack of resoluteness. “I won’t accept the citizen of Armenia to become a subject of mockery with these official results,” he said.


  1. Բավական է !

    Ok I suggest that for our future elections Armenia launches a new way of voting, inspired from reality shows such as ‘X Factor’, ‘The Voice’. We could call it : “The President” [of Armenia] or “Նախագահը”.

    Think about it guys…

    PS:Don’t forget me for copyrights :)

  2. Raffi stood alone in the election. Yes, there were ANC, ARF and Prosperous supporters who,voted, but endorsements were lacking. Now, thankfully the ARF has stood up to be counted. Many of us know the ARF for its iconic history as the defender of Armenian rights. They can add value and it is good news. ANC has made some cautious statements , but needs to join in. Same for Prosperous. There is no middle ground. The Barevolution will be fueled by the people but guided by the vision and political savvy of an opposition movement, united in its goal with all partners subordinating their position to the greater goal… A daunting task… One that evaded the opposition during the election process. But things have changed. The tolerance level of the people has been attained. With that fear and distractions are reduced and the ability to sacrifice intensifies. We can thank Raffi’s candidacy for giving the people that vehicle. Now we will.see how committed Armenia is for change. Let us pray that all of these elements lead us to a better Armenia.

  3. My fellow Armenians and Diasporans. We need to give every support that we can, including a moral one, to our brothers and sisters in Armenia who are trying to take their country back. We need to have our voices heard and we need to do it now!

    Whatever country we live in, we should flood the Armenian consulates and embassies with letters or emails making clear that we support the democratic movement in our homeland. I prefer sending actual paper letters, to me, they make a stronger impression than emails. The letters should make it clear that we recognize Raffi as the president, and we should demand that the power be transferred to him. We should make it clear that we will not deal with Armenia’s government or support it in any way unless they recognize Raffi as the president.

    We should also hold demonstrations before our consulates, showing our support for our brothers and sisters in Armenia. Here, in Glendale, young or old, student or professional, we should gather in front of the consulate with the same spirit that we demonstrate on every April 24.

    We should also send letters and emails to our Diasporan organizations, the ARF, the ANCA, the others, even the church leaders, demanding that they make public statements of support for the pro-democracy movement in Armenia. In Glendale, there are elections in April for the city council, and the ARF and ANCA has put forwards a few candidates. We should let these organizations know that we will support their candidates only if they do the right thing and publicly announce their support for Raffi.

    Our brothers and sisters in Armenia need our moral support to take their country back, and to have the kind of state that we all deserve!

    • why don’t you go and protest in front of the Consulate of Azerbaijan if you live in Glendale. It’s a short drive from Glendale to their consulate in LA.

      They killed another Armenian soldier just a few days ago.
      [Killed Armenian soldier had returned from Russia to offer his military duty]

      But it is always safer to attack you own. Right ?

    • And how many of our soldiers have been killed by their corrupt officers, brother?

      And why would protesting in front of the Armenian consulate be easier than protesting in front of the Azeri consulate? This is the United States, I can protest in front of whoever hell I want. Maybe if our brothers in the motherland had the same rights, we would not be in this mess.

      Armenian soldiers will continue to be killed no matter how much we protest before the Azeri consulates. They will keep getting killed until our country is strong enough to give the enemy their due, and the only way to do it is for our people to feel that they own their country. Unless, of course, everyone follows your approach–sticking up for the corrupt leader, ignoring the desires of the people. Then, there will be little left for our soldiers to defend.

    • I know how many.
      I also how many Armenian soldiers Azeris have killed and murdered.
      Do you ? Do you know what the ratio is ? Care to guess ?

      And you certainly can protest in front of whoever the hell you want.
      Then why don’t you protest in front of the Consulate of Azerbaijan ?
      Why are people like you always attacking their own ?

      By your actions and arguments you are proving my point.
      People like you ignore the real enemies of the Armenia and are proving to our enemies that we can be split apart with little difficulty and set against each other.
      No matter how allegedly corrupt, I am quite sure there will be no attempt to exterminate their fellow Armenians by those you so irrationally despise. What do you think Axeris will do if they manage to breach the defense lines after you guys manage to start a civil war in Armenia ?
      Do you remember the 2008 Mardakert skirmishes ?
      The one where Azeris took advantage of another attempt to start a civil war in Armenia instigated by outsiders and supported by naive, confused Armenians.

      And the desire of the people was expressed in Armenia on Feb 18, 2013: 58% of 60% of eligible electorate voted for incumbent President Sargsyan.
      The guy you irrationally hate won by a landslide.
      He will be President for the next 5 years.
      You can protest in front of Consulate of Armenia in Glendale for the next 5 years.
      You can camp there on the sidewalk and go on a hunger strike.
      President Sarsyan will still be President.
      And Armenia will be stronger and better in 5 years than today.
      Despite efforts of people like you to tear it apart.

      And that is how you proved my point: you will not protest in front of the Azeri consulate because you say it will change nothing.
      You protesting in front of the Consulate of Armenia will have no effect on election in Armenia either. President Sarsyan will take the oath of office.
      But you, an Armenian, protesting against Armenia in a foreign country will advertise to all foreigners, loud and clear, that Armenians can be split apart and defeated in disunited chunks.
      Give me one example of Azeris in US protesting in front of their own Embassy or Consulate.
      Give me one example of Turks in US protesting in front of their of their own Embassy or Consulate.

    • Avery, buddy, you deal with the Turkic commentators, we will deal with democracy in Armenia.

      Using the deaths of our soldiers against the democracy movement in Armenia is a cheap tactic, and you are only degrading the memory of our soldiers. Noone is calling for a civil war, but if the Armenian government keeps denying its people the right to be the owner of the country, there will be a revolution, whether 5 years or 10 years from now. That’s what the pro-democracy forces are trying to prevent.

    • Avery,

      You should not expect much from someone who calls Armenia a “pathetic state” and declares he will never move to that “pathetic state”. My message to him is “Well, hopefully you will stay where you are. We really do not need people like you in Armenia.”

      I am proud what my country and my people have accomplished. By my people I mean Armenians in Armenia, Diasporan Armenians who cared to move to Armenia or helped from their country of birth and foreigners like Tsvetana Paskaleva.

      Only people who lived or live in Armenia can understand how much our society has evolved since independence.

      Am I happy with Serj Sargsyan? Absolutely not. But, what is the alternative? Raffi Hovannisian? Sorry he will not get my vote in hundred years.

    • I would like to support Vahagn in his call for ALL Raffi’s supporters to send “actual paper letters” to Armenian consulates and embassies.

      Let the people see what a tiny minority of brainwashed Americans of Armenian descent he represents.

      They like to lie about 500,000 strong “The Diaspora” but in reality it is several corrupt families running the show for decades and feeding the rest of us misguided DOS controlled information.

      My ancestors have not lived in Armenia for generations and yet, I do not want to be considered part of Vahagn’s diaspora. Please, pick another word to describe yourself – you are not The Diaspora!

    • Dear Sella,

      Judging how much you were offended for Russian-Armenian oligarchs, I would guess that after leaving Armenia, you married a Russian-Armenian businessman and settled in Russia. Good for you, we all have the right to choose our destiny. Isn’t it alittle hypocritical, though, to say “We don’t need you in Armenia,” when you yourself have left Armenia? If you defend the regime in Armenia so wholeheartedly, if you are so proud of your people, why are you not in Armenia? Could it be that Armenia is better off without apologists supporting the doomed regime?

    • As for Voskesomething’s comment above, I am sure Serzh felt that the Diaspora was just a “tiny minority” when thousands of Armenian-Americans held a protest and slapped him with their powerful messages, while he was looking at them from the top of the hotel like a coward. Or when a hugely popular and influential Diasporan like Tankian just single-handedly made Serzh look like a fool in front of all Armenians and the world.

      The Diaspora, whether in the U.S. or in other democracies, has the will, the numbers, and the resources to help our people in Armenia make Serzh irrelevant. If and when it happens, I hope Serzh will not make the mistake of underestimating the power of the Diaspora and the people, as the above comment did. Because those who underestimate the power of the people, they end up like Ghaddafi or Chaushesku.

    • Dear Vahagn,

      “Judging how much you were offended for Russian-Armenian oligarchs, I would guess that after leaving Armenia, you married a Russian-Armenian businessman and settled in Russia. Good for you, we all have the right to choose our destiny. Isn’t it alittle hypocritical, though, to say “We don’t need you in Armenia,” when you yourself have left Armenia? If you defend the regime in Armenia so wholeheartedly, if you are so proud of your people, why are you not in Armenia? Could it be that Armenia is better off without apologists supporting the doomed regime?”

      This was funny:) After leaving Armenia I received my PhD in Europe. Then moved to the US to specialize more and advance in my profession. Have no connections to Russian-Armenians or to Russian-Armenian businessmen. Never lived in Russia. Not married yet. I left Armenia to get better education and not for political or financial reasons. I do plan to go back to Armenia in the future.

  4. This sounds very much like the “Arab spring” …. we too can join the string of “democratic countries” in the middle east. Go ahead…revolt !!! it’s fairly safe in Glendale. No Turkey, No Azerbaijan.

  5. avery do you get some sort of kickbacks from the current regime, we all want the same thing for armenia right: secure, free, law abiding, minimal corruption, maximum investment from diaspora. Tell me how these things will happen when armenia is depopulated, which I believe is the direct responsibility of the current government. No one is talking of civil war, this is a political discorse

  6. Leave Armenia and the President alone.
    Instead, concentrate on this (this petition is posted on the we the people
    white house website).

    Recognize Lack of Democracy and Serious Human Rights Violations by Azerbaijani Government. Call for free elections.
    Recognize the lack of democracy and serious human rights violations by Azerbaijani government. Membership in the Council of Europe obliges Azerbaijan to respect human rights and freedoms of its citizens. Demand immediate improvements in the spheres of democracy, human rights, basic freedoms and freedom of assembly. Call for the release of political prisoners. Recognize that presidential and parliamentary elections failed to meet international standards. Call for free and fair election in October, 2013
    Created: Jan 28, 2013
    Issues: Foreign Policy, Human Rights

    • Why would you want to advocate for democracy in Azerbaijan? Democracy gives strength and fresh blood to a country. We are better of with Azerbaijan remaining a corrupt Middle-Eastern style dictatorship. We need democracy in Armenia as a strength-multiplier. That’s our weapon.

    • Vahagn: Democracy in Azerbaijan and in Armenia are important because two democratic nations don’t go to war- Democratic peace theory. You do wish to avoid another war right?

  7. {“Avery, buddy, you deal with the Turkic commentators, we will deal with democracy in Armenia.”}

    Vahagn, buddy, I can deal with the Turkic commentators, Tucophile commentators, and those Armenians who attack democracy in Armenia and attempt to create divisions amongst us by calling for illegal and unconstitutional power grab in RoA. All at the same time.
    Then I take on Turkics in their own back yard. All within about 30 minutes in the workday.

    “This is the United States, I can protest in front of whoever hell I want. ” didn’t you write that, pal ?
    If you can protest in front of whoever the hell you want, I can post against whoever the hell I want: Fair ?
    Did I forget to tell you I too am a US Citizen ? Or you think you are the only one who knows about US laws and Constitution.
    You consider what you are doing is for the benefit of Armenia, I don’t: you can voice your opinion, so can I.
    You are trying to convince other AW readers with your arguments, so am I and so are others.
    Did somebody elect you so that “…we will deal with democracy in Armenia.” ? And who the heck is “we” ? When did you get elected to represent anyone in the Diaspora ?

    Like I said: the fact that you will not protest in front of the Consulate of Azerbaijan and are calling for a protest in front of the Consulate of Armenia in a foreign country tells me everything I need to know about you and your motives.

    And anyone who thinks Tankian is hugely popular and influential is hardly basing it on facts: what exactly has he influenced lately.
    Let’s see if he can influence Pres Obama to influence Sultan Aliyev to stop killing Armenian young men.
    And President Sargsyan is the one that made Tankian look like a fool: the President showed he is a Big man by politely answering Tankian’s insulting letter, extending a hand of friendship to the Diaspora. Tankian showed what a little man he is by publishing another insulting letter.

    And you comparing President Sargsyan with Ghaddafi or Chaushesku shows how disconnected from reality you really are: not surprising, since you also believe that 37% is a larger number than 58%.

    And one last item about Diaspora, Glendale and numbers: last year a guy by the name of Ara Manoogian organized some kind of protest in front of the Consulate of Armenia.
    Glendale has about 80,000 Armenian residents. Guess how many showed up at the protest: less than 50.

    See, buddy, I too am Armenian Diaspora. And there are lots and lots of Diasporans that think like me and disagree with what you espouse.

  8. I am disturbed,reading above comments today.Please be more tolerant of each other.Please try to be more compromising and arrive at a Convergence area…
    A.Armenia ,as other European countries is advancing(unlike its neighbours)as rgds so called demcracy and the Rule of Law.Rule here means govern,not the type of it..If so,first and foremost let´s help our brethren and sisters in RA to attain more FREEDOM of thought and liberties that are beneficial to Nation/Sate.
    Never forget that we have latter,are no more a ¨people¨ ..this is detrimental.
    If so,let´s abive by the Rule of Law. if demonstrations are carried on peacefully and opinions expressed freely, then ALL IS WELL. We can by and by progress.
    W/ref. to recent elections and outcome,there are controversies,why not.
    BTW,I watch T.v.(have sattelite) see what goes on at this moment through Al Jazeera Channel(an example) what unruly demonstrations are on there at this moment,stone throsing incl. Near whole of second and third world is in turmoil. Thank God RA is not so.Hope it will stay clear of that sort of Demos.We have to proceed calmly and also excercise caution ESPECIALLY,as rgds distinguishing between meditated ,correct and counted approaches to CHANGE and the above Middle Eastern style Demos.
    Now my ¨¨suggestions¨.I would really like to see all of our youth and middle Aged on the street so to say of im`portant Armenian colony(gaghout) countries protesting against Sumgait(like I watched today being done ,but on small scales).Our adversaries are restless,they try to provoke us (like yesterday inthe Frenmch Assamlee Nationale.They spare nothing,are in every town,city where Armenians have older Traditional Diasporas….
    In light of our Main move in 2015,great Turkey is inciting through little brother,as much as possible to attract attn tlowards their fake ¨¨Khojali¨¨like fables and in other instances such as Int´l Expositions to be next to our booths and try to drive home their made up tales and neutralize our efforts towards recognition of the Armenian Genocide.Also,to be on the alert as to.-
    Stick together(leaving aside) inner differences of opinions,damn it,sorry to say like they are doing. In this they are a bit ahead of us..for they have no JUST CAUSE,but ae propagating the Evil…since all of them ar so(easier to stick together).Please therefore let´s think of preparing our own DEFENSES.
    I really do not iwsh to say more.Except to wish that our TWO republics stay out of all kinds of conflicts,whether from within or outside.Latter is the one we have to confront,remembers,as adversaries are RESTLESS. Serj, Raffi, Paruyur Gechamian and all indeed all of these are our brethren,whether in important positions or not. All of thme ,I,m sure think of HAYASTAN/ARTSAKH as our main assignment to PRESERVE INTACT!!!!!!!!!!!1
    best hasgcoghin

  9. I am with Gaytzag. Let’s be careful with respect to each other. The issue of the diaspora and influencing the environment in Armenia is controversial. We ( those of us in the diaspora) must understand and accept certain realities about RoA. If we wish to be credible participants in the process, then one should live there and be truly invested. It does little for the people of Armenia to inundate them with our western views of democracy when all democracies are an evolution. It’s easy for,us to say what should be done with little real commitment.
    Avery makes a valid point. I am very troubled about the notion of Armenians protesting at consulates and embassies around the world about the I eternal affairs of Armenia. What do we expect the outcome of that to be? Over exposure of our challenges. If there are specific areas of support we desire, then they can best be worked in a less visible way. In the diaspora, our public image should always be to
    support the institutions of RoA and NKR. Addressing the challenges of both should be dealt with as participants in civil society, NGOs etc….. Not as arm chair diasporans with long distance open ended opinions. We need to help Armenia…always…. How is the question?
    At the end of the day, there is only barometer for success. What did we do for Armenia and the Armenians people.

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