Hovannisian: ‘I Have Only One Plan, One Mission’

YEREVAN (A.W.)—At a rally on March 2 in Freedom Square, opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian responded to critics who have argued–since the beginning of the post-election movement dubbed “barevolution” (a combination of the words barev, “hello” in Armenian, and revolution)–that he doesn’t have a clear plan.

A man listens to Hovannisian during the rally at Freedom Square in Yerevan on Feb. 28. (photo by Khatchig Mouradian, The Armenian Weekly)

A man listens to Hovannisian during a rally in Freedom Square in Yerevan on Feb. 28. (photo by Khatchig Mouradian, The Armenian Weekly)

“There has been much talk that there’s no plan of action. … Let it be clear to everyone: I have only one plan, one strategy, one clear mission, which is to defend the rights of the people, with the participation and support of Armenia’s citizens and the entire Armenian nation,” said Hovannisian.

Hovannisian invited the president, prime minister, and the mayor of Yerevan to Freedom Square to submit to the will of the people. He called on President Serge Sarkisian to return the power to the people before April 9, the date he is due to be sworn in.

“If [Sarkisian] doesn’t want to turn this into a pan-national crisis, if he has the decency and awareness, he should not make the people wait. He should not, on April 9, take a fake oath on the Holy Bible, and try to reign like a king over a people that does not recognize him,” said Hovannisian.

On Mon., March 4, Hovannisian will announce whether or not he will appeal to the Constitutional Court. The following day, another rally will be held on Freedon Square.

26 Comments on Hovannisian: ‘I Have Only One Plan, One Mission’

  1. Hovanessian wants a revolution. A revolution will serve armenia’s enemies very nicely. Hovanessian wants to look west and abandon Russia this will also serve armenia’s enemies. Therefore hovanessian and his followers are the enemy of Armenia

  2. {“I have only one plan, one strategy, one clear mission, which is to defend the rights of the people”}

    That is no plan: that amounts to a lot of empty talk, with no concrete plans to solve the macro problems that Armenia faces.

    {““If [Sarkisian] doesn’t want to turn this into a pan-national crisis, if he has the decency and awareness, he should not make the people wait. He should not, on April 9, take a fake oath on the Holy Bible, and try to reign like a king over a people that does not recognize him,” said Hovannisian.”}

    Mr. Hovanissian, it is you who wants to turn this into a pan-national crisis.
    Which people that supposedly does not recognize him are you talking about ?
    The 58% that voted for President Sarkisian ?

    You lost Big: go away already.

    • Avery/Sona,

      My scholars. I am so happy you are… posting on the Armenian Weekly website again with your genius. Can you please answer one question? Are you part of the 1.1 million Armenians who have fled Armenia for “a better life” since 1994 (ceasefire)? Are you one of the over MILLION people who have left because of corruption, bullying and unable to make a decent living? Were you you part of the over 35% of the population that is living in POVERTY for for the last 20 years? If so, I’d really like to understand why you think the current conditions are ok in Armenia. If not, I am guessing you have some kind of connection to the cancerous RPA. Please let the readers know.

    • Mark B:

      if you behave and ask nicely, I might answer more than one question.
      don’t mock, don’t call people names.

  3. [Obama congratulates Serzh Sargsyan on reelection]
    {Dear Mr. President:
    I would like to congratulate you on your reelection as President of the Republic of Armenia. I look forward to continuing our work together as we both begin our second terms.}(March 2, 2013)

  4. What are Diaspora organizations dong now to help Raffi? I don’t understand the RPA has been the reason for an exodus of 1.1 million people from Armenia. They raped and pillaged to the same factor as the Turks did 100 years ago, and yet nothing. I know there is a litany of reasons that the Diaspora has been stagnant, but now is not the time. Where are the statements of support from the ANCA and AGBU for Raffi?I do no think diasporans understand that this is Armenia’s last stand. If the gangsters win, our whole nation is doomed. I do not understand why there is not more outrage of another heisted election after all the cancerous things Serge and his goons have done over the last 5 years. WAKE UP!!. If we don’t do anything, there is no longer a point of staying Armenian in the Diaspora. This si the moment we have been waiting for!

  5. Raffi’s activity has garnered the energy of at least a plurality in Armenia…. From many accounts the politically dispossessed and younger demographic. If managed correctly, this can go a long way towards accelerating the development of democracy and hope in the homeland. I applaud his actions for this possibility.
    The question is when is your leverage optimal and how do you use this new found capital? How can you best serve change and maintain a level of stability that serves Armenia’s interests? The street rallies are a means towards an end. What is that? Can a coalition work and provide a functional government. Will a coalition be viewed as a sell out and thereby discourage those recently inspired? Serious questions for Raffi. A true opposition working within the framework of the constitution can be exciting for Armenia. Pray for our collective wisdom.

  6. @ Mark B.
    “They raped and pillaged to the same factor as the Turks did 100 years ago, and yet nothing.”
    Are you crazy? Raffi lost a fixed game, he should of been working harder before the election, and there are almost no voter fraud incidents registered. Raffi is like a great soccer player, like Ronaldo with his theatrics tricks. The election is lost, now Serge Sarkisyan will be getting ready to set up the next goon to take place, and Armenia can’t sway away from new Russian Empire, because the American Empire will do what Turks want them to do for special military deals, and that’s all they care about. Justice is always on the back-burner for the minor nations, unless u got lots of coin.

  7. avatar gaytzag palandjian // March 4, 2013 at 9:41 am // Reply

    My position is as before.At this juncture,Armenia needs to go THROUGH A TRANSITIONAL CONILLIATORY-TRANSITIONAL period!!!!!
    We cannot afford Rose, blue , this that colour revolutions!!!
    But we certainly need what Raffi(as the symbol of it)is doing.
    You wish to know what can be done on the basis of a Concilliatory CHANGE!!!!
    Just look around …GEORGIA.Though they also overnight from soviet socialism went to wild free market econmy…..they found it PRUDENT AND RECENTLY elected,replaced their Prime ministre.This latter Ivanishvilli,a BILLIONAIRE,in his own right(from Moscow) is trying hard to steer Georgia towards a moderate gogovernance…
    Why can´t Armenia do something similar….times are for moderate MOVES.And I am glad Raffi is doing it so far-that awise.
    Hopefully all will go well and his march will AFFECT THE CLANS….and these will realize that there are limits to FREE MARKET ECONOMIES…
    There was one news yesterday from FOLLOWING SOURCE:- a news agency?…whatever…that and I quote¨ Professor Richard G.Hovanissian is coming to Armenia with kirk Kirkorian¨ and mentioing why latter got cross with RA and stopped his benevolence….
    I do trust this will result in the CONILLIATORY TRANSITION,,mode I advocate

  8. Another revolution! How did the last one go? Did not Armenians and others suffer enough in the hands of revolutionaries?

    • You must mean the Young Turk revolutionaries, who they were stupid enough to work with and trust?

  9. I notice some of our compatriots in these pages see things black and white, that is, those who voted for Hovanissian are bad guys, Raffi will lead us to defeat and downfall etc. and those who voted for Sarkissian are the good guys, the only ones who are anxious for the security and well-being of Armenia.
    While I do not approve of all what Raffi is doing now, I mean after the elections, I find this a clearly anatgonizing way of thinking. Things are not always black and white, but more often than not “grey”. Despite the official winning of the election by Sarkissian, it is clear that large sections of the society are disenchanted with the present state of affairs in Armenia. The argument that Sarkissian has experienced war has no appeal to the youth especially who want to see a prospect for their future in their fatherland. We have seen time and again leaders with shining credentials who have become irrevelant overnight. I don’t mean that Hovanissian has become irrelevant. He has after all fared better than his former two predecessors, but it is time everyone acknowledged that Armenia needs drastic changes at this juncture. Otherwise we are going to encounter much more division, discord and loss of population in the coming years. The moment of that change has come. Those who are ignoring or minimalizeing this fact are engaging in self-deceit. The question is how are we going to make use of this unique opportunity? I only hope our two leading personalities, the official winner Sarkissian and the de facto winner Hovanissian will have the wisdom and the foresight to acknowledge each other’s victory and act like mature men. I would advise Hovanissian not to capitalize only on street rallies and to think about the time when street politics without a well-thought strategey might exhaust people’s entusiasm and once more lead them to frustration and dispair.

  10. I’m beginning to get tired of Hovannisian at this point. Just listen to this:

    “There has been much talk that there’s no plan of action…. Let it be clear to everyone: I have only one plan, one strategy, one clear mission, which is to defend the rights of the people, with the participation and support of Armenia’s citizens and the entire Armenian nation,”

    He really doesn’t have a plan! It’s all vague statements like I will fight for this, I will get things better, blah blah. If any of you blind sheep actually listened to his full public speeches you’d realize he’s just apealing to sentiment and has no clear plan of action to reach his lofty goals of “a better life for all.” what a crock. I could get up there and get people riled up, which isn’t so difficult when they are already fed up. Problem is a man with just empty promises is not the answer. I used to side with Raffi, now I am convinced that he himself doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing.

  11. I agree with Mark B. It is time for the Diasporan organizations to act and voice their support for the wave of change in Armenia. The Armenian Bar Association already made a strong statement. The rest need to act as well. As I have posted before, the way to make them act is for us, ordinary Diasporans, to put pressure on ARF, ANCA and the rest. They depend on us, they draw their legitimacy from us, we need to flood them with calls demanding that they make public statements in support of the democratic movement.

    And, as I have said before, we, the Diasporans, need to make a strong show of force to the RoA. We need to give them the loud message that we are not joking around when we say we want democracy in Armenia. One way is to put pressure on the Armenian consulates, by flooding them with letters, and holding demonstrations. Last week, already there was a demonstrations before the Glendale consulate, and a few days before there was one in New York. We need to do more. I think Stepan was concerned that it would overexpose the problem around the world. Overexposure is exactly what’s needed. The authorities of Armenia, having lost the legitimacy from their people, are very sensitive to bad publicity. That is their week spot, and that is where we, the Diasporans, need to grab to make any change.

    Just wishing that there was change in Armenia is not going to bring change. The regime in Armenia counts on us to do nothing. We can’t let that happen, because the stakes are very high. Armenia will not survive unless it becomes a democracy.

  12. avatar gaytzag palandjian // March 4, 2013 at 11:30 pm // Reply

    Murat, You err tremendously, The Armenian Revolutionareis(the Fedayeens) were the precursors to our freedom fighters in NK Artsakh.An American phrase goes¨¨Freeedom is not Free, printed on T-Shirts , by our U.s. veterans too-Like General Antranik has said his last words on death bed¨¨My work was left unfinished___but then the latter day freedom fighters picked it up to finish it….
    As to Albert and Arshag,one´s undecidedness leads to the others dislillusionment. Raffi was elected not only by followers of his Heritage party mewmbers by a majority of discontent others(citizens that previously were left unsatisfied by LTP etc.,.
    The frustrating issue-in my viewpoint-is that of ARF.They sort of put one foot into doorstep, then stopped there—as to PAP ,prosperous Armenia party , the man is very cautious.Though he also can garner quite a few important figures and thousands over thousands of followers,has stayed clear of the ,whatever Raffi has dubbed his Movement.I rther call it that…
    As barevolution or such names do not really stick,not even the colour revolutions.people are fed up with revolutions and in this aspect some here on the forum like Avery also indicate tiredness of those I have ,mentioned staying clear of the ,movement and has opined that NO SUCH MOVEMENT WILL BE OF USE OR TO THAT EFFECT.That EVERYTHING WILL FALLL IN PLACE IN LIFE WILL GO ON—-
    Indeed that may be soon,though I still believe no power can go against the will of the peopleANY PEOPLE…if latter are dtermined. Armenia needs NOT ONE LEADER, BUT AT THE VERY LEAST 3.>One like Serge Sargsyan,but NOT ALONE ANY MORE…HE NEEDS AT HIS SIDE AS pREMIER OR vICE PRESIDENT(CAN EASILY AMEND cONSTITUION TO ADMIT VICE PRES. AS rAFFI AN/OR Hairikian<, THEN AGAIN OTHERS SUCH AS hRANT bAGRATYAN, Harutunyan and a few others in the New cabinet…
    Change is overdue in a country that is falling behind in many aspects.
    1. Cannot stop outflow of people to other lands(immigration
    2.Standard of living -say a middle class not being formed.Going to polarization, of filthy rich and very poor left to perish and as above LEAVE
    3.A New concept of Rule Law and Governance means let the people HAVE THE RIGHT TO ELECT NOT ONLY like in all so called Democracies(those who can be bought or an on the street,so to say to be easily gained to vote)either by political parties and /or like in the other countreis by MONEY CAMPAIGNING or those, who easily fall for one like did for LTP , e.g.etc.,
    Thence, the NEWLY FORMED professional colleagues Associations members (even from Diaspora ought to be invited to come and teach the Homeland colleagues that they can also ENTER INTO THE NATIONAL AFFAIRS ARENA..That is excercise politics(this is entirelyu ,my baby) whey ONLY THE POLITICAL APRTY MEMBERS OR THOSE that like sheep follow say the PAP,as latter indeed truly helps some in their small businesses and or has created jobs, enough to garner followers…this can always be done I am not agaisnt it nor can anyone..But now is the AGE OF THE ADVANCED PROFESSIONALS.These M U S T COME FWD!!!! period.

  13. Those who complain about Raffi not knowing what he is doing have no clue as to what’s going on in Armenia. Raffi won the election. Everyone one in Armenia, including the criminal clan of Serge, knows it. Serge, for the second time, stole the votes. This is an absolute fact. All you have to do to know this is to be in Armenia. Raffi knows that Serge, who has so much to steal yet, will not surrender. Short of taking the presidential palace by force, there is no way for Raffi to claim his place as an elected leader of the Armenian Republic. Raffi will not create a situation, at least for now, to endanger anyone’s life. He will not act as Levon did. But he must keep the pressure on by any other peaceful means he can master. There are not that many options in a republic where the leaders are criminal, where judicial system is a joke, where people are threatened to be fired if they speak up against any corrupt official, where businesses are having hard time to survive, unless they are owned by the ruling class. Those that succeed are forced to take Serge’s brother or someone else from his clan as a “partner”. Those of us, who live in Armenia and are not purchased yet by Serge, have no illusions as to how low and how brutal the rulers will go to keep their power. It is easy to say – Raffi has no plan. Can you suggest one?

    • Andy, you are oomce again parrotting Raffi’s words. It’s easy to win over people’s emotions when addressing issues such as lack of opportunity, poverty, corruption, etc (which everyone in and out of Armenia knows exist), but it’s a whole different story to solve those problems. I have not seen a single sentence from Raffi that clearly outlines how he plans to fix that. Replacing municipal leaders? That’s not a plan, a five year old’s first step would be that. Please excuse me, but before I accept a man as my president I’d like to know what he plans on doing, and “things will get better” is not good enough for any half-intelligent electorate. And yes I can and did vote.

      P.S. And just for clarity’s sake, can you please show me where Raffi winning the election is “an absolute fact”? I don’t say I don’t believe you, but when making such grandiose statement one must provide proof and not throw the word fact around like it’s a toy. I’ll wait.

    • avatar gaytzag palandjian // March 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm //

      We Armenians are a bit “sheepish”.Let me explain>
      1.Our reflexes are not quick enough.Important factor in decision making…
      2. When engagning in discussions/*debates*no, not referiing to us here,but in general on T.V,special Events within ourselves and/or internationally prepared such.More that is, than other nations.
      3. You ask to make suggestions for Raffi’s*Plan….
      I’d say that he does most probably have something up hi sleeve,that he will reveal later, when time is right.
      We can easily rid us of above two issues, if like I advocate,to form into PCA’s-Professional colleageus Associations-in assoc. of work type classification and then thus learn to co operate,learn from ea other and muster Clout!!!!
      Without this, i.e. forming into Rank and File, we shall gpo on being sheepish.Indeed we do have very limited of these *in our [political parties and associations like Knights of Vartan etc., compatriotic….but what I advocate is AMONGST THE PROFESSIONS.Latter these days are not yesteryear’s telegraphists, or not much qualified professionals in any Trade or office BUT MUCH MORE advanced in sci etc.,thes gpood people actually ARE THE SPIANL COLIUMN OF ANY NATION ON EARTH T O D A Y ….
      If in Ra we had that ,we could have presented to Parliament from amongst these our E L I T E …people elected for their Merits not by MONEY or a few IDEOLOGICALLY ORIENTED POLITICIANS..
      LAST COMMENT AS TO YOUR QUERY___WELL YESTERDAY THERE WAS this news in shrot from an obscue news agency * …informing that Prof. Richard Hovaniissian-Raffi’s father, that indeed is someone that weighs..PLUS KIRK KIRKORIAN ARE COMING TO ARMENIA!!!!!
      now that would ahve been a big L I F T to dear old Raffi.You see , in nex t door Georgia they installed a billionaire as Premiere,alongside Sahakashvilli.Now i am not suggesting KK be in that post-position.But suppporting RAFFII……………………Raffi needs a lot of support.I wrote previously that ARF set one foot into doorstep but stopped there. PAP is undecided-as he has connections with serge Sargsyan etc., In politics todayu alot of ECONOMIC WEIGHT HAS TO BE SHOWN too

  14. The current US ambassador recently concluded that the main obstacle to more outside investments in Armenia is the current corruption and the bribery system.. That’s what Sergh and his thug clan brings. Im not saying that Raffi is the answer but all the Sergh supporters seem to completely ignore that fact and pretend that everything is great and its all Raffi’s fault.

  15. Albert
    Whom are you calling “blind sheep”? I don’t see anyone in these pages who qualifies your impolite characterization? Just because people don’t share your view or you are fed up with this or that one are they blind? What kind of manners is this ?
    You claim you “could get up there and get people riled up, which isn’t so difficult …”. O ja? Why don’t get your ass over there and just do that instead of making irresponsible comments in these pages?

    • Arshag, I’m sorry if you took offense to my comment, it was not meant as an insult. Blind sheep applies to those who follow Raffi like an idol just because he is an alternative to Serj whom they hate with a passion. They do not care that Raffi could potentially be worse, jeapordize our relations with Russia, etc. if somebody reading that self-identified, then they probably fall into that group. Not everyone commenting here is like that, it was directly to those who vehemently support Raffi out of spite of Serj.

      As to your second statement, I don’t deny that I would be a bad candidate, have nowhere near the qualifying credentials, or the funding to run for office. Raffi does. All i was saying is that he is a magnet attracting the already polarized ones – polarized against Serj. You should understand.

    • Lets celebrate Arshag, the King of Politeness on Armenian Weekly;)

      “I don’t see anyone in these pages who qualifies your impolite characterization? Just because people don’t share your view or you are fed up with this or that one are they blind? What kind of manners is this ?”

      “Why don’t get your ass over there and just do that instead of making irresponsible comments in these pages?”

  16. I’m sure Raffi Hovhanessian speaks Spanish, as he doesn’t want to get involved in the internal politics of the USA, therefore he should and would probably better try to get involved in Venezuela’s. ;)

    • By the same logic, Serzh should quit the ROA’s presidency (which he never won) and focus on internal Azerbaijani politics. Same with Kocharian. After all, they were born in Azerbaijan.

      Regarding Venezeula, though, Chavez’ death is instructive. This guy thought he would be the perpetual leader of the country. Dictators come and go, and when they do, it’s the people who have to deal with the mess they left. Which means, the sooner Serzh and his clan go, the sooner Armenians will be able to clean-up their mess.

    • “I’m sure Raffi Hovhanessian speaks Spanish”

      I’m not so sure. His profiles often state that he speaks Russian. I watched his interview on Turkish TV when he was in Baku not long ago.

      An Azeri Turk journalist asked him a question in fluent Russian and Raffi could not understand it. And than he proceeded with an answer that amounts to treason.

      In plain American English, his mother tongue, he told to the cameras that he would support, in principle, the idea of 500,000 Azeri Turks “returning” to Artsakh.

      I know only few persons who would support this outside of Axerbaijan – these “persons” are Mrs. British Petroleum, Mr. Royal Dutch Shell, Ms. Conoco Phillips, and other Nubuccoids who need Armenia and Artsakh gone to boost their credit ratings and lower investment risks while robbing the peoples of Axerbaijan and Central Asia of their natural resources.

  17. avatar gaytzag palandjian // March 9, 2013 at 11:02 am // Reply

    Just because Raffi spoke very frankly saying..and I quote>/ “I am neither pro Russia nor pro America”.Why twist things around…
    As to Raffi having said taht he would “support” return of Azeris to Nk,thjat also very very questionalbe.Azeris can very easily tape record such a sentence and pass it around *indeed someone talking like Raffi, copying his voice…
    Raffi stand erect and is very sincere in his speaches…
    He is the symbol , like a spokesman.He gathered around himself many others..amongst many the ARF,that was unwilling at first to take part…
    He does have some charismatic attitude as rgds… towards the people….no other so far has been so much DOWN TO EARTH…
    He might have been more successfull,had as someone had reported*then disappeared on ..that his Father and KKirkorian were coming to Yerevan. After all , he did need some real support from others too,that never showed up like PAP and Ramgavaragans*the wealthy

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