Hovannisian Holds ‘Alternative’ Inauguration

YEREVAN–On April 9, thousands gathered in Freedom Square  in Yerevan for Raffi Hovannisian’s alternative inauguration, where he took an oath to reclaim the people’s rights and to work  toward victory.

Barevolution leader Raffi Hovannisian during the "alternative" swearing in ceremony in Freedom Square earlier today. (Photo: Serouj Aprahamian, The Armenian Weekly correspondent in Yerevan)
Barevolution leader Raffi Hovannisian during the “alternative” swearing in ceremony in Freedom Square earlier today. (Photo: Serouj Aprahamian, The Armenian Weekly correspondent in Yerevan)

Hovannisian proclaimed the people’s victory by rejecting the current regime and pledging to work alongside the people to create a new Armenia. Meanwhile, at the Karen Demirchian Sports Complex in Yerevan, Serge Sarkisian took his oath of office by pledging to uphold the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia.

Calling Sarkisian’s event a fake inauguration and belittling the gathering, Hovannisian urged the people to continue their fight, which he said began on Feb. 18, the day of the elections, “but it does not end today on April 9.” “I reject any illegitimate authority,” said Hovannisian as he recited an oath, which was enthusiastically repeated by the crowd.

Hovannisian invited Sarkisian and Catholicos Karekin II to the square at 6 p.m. Yerevan time to join the people. He also announced that he would unveil his program and his team during a rally on Fri., April 12.

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  1. Raffi did not “invite” Sarkisian to LIberty Square, he posed an ultimatum that they must show up by 6pm or else. He’s getting more bellicose for his own good.

  2. Whohoo, this is exciting. Good job, Raffi. He is being more tactful and clever than Levon in 2008. He is just quietly doing everything that a president would do, without a full frontal confrontation with the regime. Nice twist on civil disobedience.

    After 20 years of stolen elections, perhaps Armenia needs a crisis to force the authorities to give in to democratic change. Without a democratic change, Armenia is doomed. A crisis may be the cure.

  3. I have always thought that Mr. Hovhannisian is a thoughtful and measured man. I have heard him speak on couple of occasions and he is convincing, particularly when dealing with foreign policy issues. What surprises me most is his Don Quixotic rhetoric and meaningless demonstrations and protests in the public square.Armenia is far from being a model republic or democracy so his fight should concentrate on remedial actions that bring change to the country rather than concentrate on the current elections. If he and like minded people are able to change the national institutions in a way that guarantee democratic principles at all levels and for everybody, then future elections will be definitely more transparent. He might need to read couple of books on techniques for transforming society before he goes hoarse making useless speeches in a mafia infested environment.

  4. “If on April 9, Sarkisian takes his fake oath on the Holy Bible, and if the Catholicos desecrates the Bible and blesses the candidate [Sarkisian] who mocks the people, then that will happen over my dead body,” he said.


    {Meanwhile, on the side of the city at the Karen Demirchian Sports Complex, Serge Sarkisian took his oath of office}
    Note: with about 2,000 attendees, including foreign dignitaries at a special session of the National Assembly.

    The unbroken string of Raffi Hovannisian ‘victories’ continues unabated: one ‘victory’ after another.

    He ‘won’ as FM of RoA under LTP. (fired)
    He ‘won’ several battles during the NKR war. (was hiding somewhere safe far from the war).
    He ‘won’ in Baku. (shouted down and forcibly removed)
    He ‘won’ the 2013 Presidential election. (won by 37% to Pres Sargsyan’s 58%)
    He ‘won’ the battle of wills with President Sargsyan after the latter came to his fasting tent to negotiate transfer of power to him, the ‘real’ BarevaPresident. (folded his tent in utter defeat and quietly went to Holy Badarak, conveniently forgetting the insults he had hurled at the Catholicos)
    He ‘won’ again when he and his followers triumphantly marched down Baghramyan Avenue and moved into the official Presidential residence. (he lost the battle of wills with police brass, and was forced to back off).

    He and his 5,000-8,000 followers will next storm Baku and liberate the remaining Armenian lands currently under AzeriTatarTurk occupation.

    Oh, about that “over my dead body” thing: it is best he lives a very long and healthy life, so his confused followers can finally discover for themselves what a fraud the man is.

  5. Vartan Oskanian,last night was interviewed on Kentron T.V. Armenian channel for over an hour.In brief he plainly (with all due respects offered)reprimanded the present Govt. of RA and spoke with esteem as to Raffi´s one man crusade.Which he dubbed as welcome, leaving it to him to persist in his quest for justice for the people of Armenia.While he also , e.g. spoke with respect of the Prime ministre Dikran Sargsyan, as an intellectual etc., he continued…that his team had not been able to render growth in the economy of the country.The Q.& A session was long I can remember nothing in praise of the govt. and he encouraged his party(PAP followers)to exert all possible effots to gain control of the Prinipality of Yerevan, elections of the new Mayor having been determined to take place on 5th May.
    It seems that Raffi´s ¨other¨followers are also fast at work to see to it that things take a turn to the needed changes in Govt.as people continue to prepare to leave Homeland.
    And these statements come from a person taht was at the helm of the foregin Ministry of RA for 10 yrs and well into the inner politics of the country.If in some people´s view only service in the army is a condition to be considered as a patriot,then WE DO NOT NEED DIPLOMATS AND OR ECONOMISTS ETC., FOR RUNNIGN A COUNTRY. I believe I have said enough to throw light on issues that are pending decision making to enlighten our compatriots that <THINGS DO NOT SSTAY AS THEY ARE for long even if imposed forcibly. For nothing is permanent…

  6. Avery
    With all his flaws, I believe Raffi still can play a role in bringing the much needed change in Armenia. He is after all the only one whom a considerable section or the population trusts. For who else or which party will 5000-8000 (according to your questionable figures) wiil come out in the street?
    But, As I have stated earlier in other pages of AW, I find he has to act now towards forging alliances with other opposition forces for the coming municipal elections. He can start with the ARF and the Ramgavars with whom he has the closest ideological affinity. Until such time our opposition parties have not made a more or less durable alliance the oligarchic system will contimue to rule Armenia with all its attandant evils.

    • Arshag:

      regarding: {…(according to your questionable figures)….} (referring to my post)
      I got my questionable figures from the Heritage horse’s mouth.
      Here is the source:
      [Why did Raffi Hovannisian leave some supporters on Yerevan’s Baghramyan Avenue?]

      {Armenia’s opposition Heritage Party spokesperson Hovsep Khurshudyan commented on Tuesday’s developments}
      {“[But] when all this ended, talks were held with the Police, relating to heading to Tsitsernakaberd [that is, the Armenian Genocide Memorial] with another route [other than Baghramyan Avenue]. At that time, he [that is, Hovannisian] and some 5,000-6,000 people went to Tsitsernakaberd [with another route]; solely 1,000-2,000 people had remained on Baghramyan.}

      Regarding: “For who else or which party…”
      LTP drew about 100,000 in 2008 (not that I support what he did).
      8K or 10K for a city the size of Yerevan, population about 1.1 Million, with maybe 500,000 adults in the ‘protest’ age group is nothing.
      (Note: in 2009 there was a protest in Glendale, CA against the infamous Protocols: about 10,000 people showed up)
      Mr. Hovannisian has no broad support base. I have studied videos of his tours of the countryside post-election: very few people show up, and there are as many against him as for him.
      Sorry, Arshag, he had his chance: Like I said before, he ran a great campaign, but went off the rails on Feb 19th.
      He has caused too much damage and division: he has no role in RoA politics any more. He needs to retire to a private life.
      And Arshag, don’t you see RH does not deserve your support ?
      He was told days ago that Baghramyan Avenue is off limits during Inauguration.
      He was given a route to march with his followers and he _agreed_ to it: but then he changed his route on his own at the last minute and illegally attempted to march to official Presidential residence down Baghramyan Avenue during inauguration with dozens of foreign guests and dignitaries being driven around: do you condemn his actions with the same vigor as you condemn Pres Sargsyan: yes or no.
      Do you think out of control crowds should have been allowed to storm the official Presidential residence ?
      Do you think out of control crowds should have been allowed to run amok and possibly harm foreign VIPs creating an international incident ?
      Hovannisian even abandoned his followers at the protest (…although Heritage is desperately attempting to put a positive spin on it).
      And as I said in the other thread: Sargsyan is not perfect, he is not great: he is just good enough. All others are lousy or worse.

    • Arshag, here is one man’s opinion.

      [Raffi Hovannisian received the votes of protest – political analyst]

      {He stressed that he was present at the April 9 rally and saw different people, even radicals who led everything to a scuffle.

      Raffi Hovannisian received the same votes that Levon Ter-Petrosyan and Arthur Baghdasaryan got in 2008, but these are not the votes of Heritage party.

      “These are the votes of protest,” Iskandaryan believes.}

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