Prime Minister Serge Sarkisian Is an Inspired Choice

Special to the Armenian Weekly 

I am flabbergasted. Confused even. I am scratching my head as I read posts and articles from cynical and shortsighted people, who are criticizing the likely appointment of current President Serge Sarkisian as the Republic of Armenia’s next Prime Minister.

Serge Sarkisian (Photo: EPP)

The criticism that is being leveled against people who are openly backing Sarkisian—both from within his Republican Party (RPA) and outside of it—is plain unfair.

These criticized people are declaring that Sarkisian is the best choice to lead Armenia; sometimes saying he is the only option for progress, and the surefire way we can ensure the country remains secure. He has even been lauded as experienced—as someone who can mentor the next generation of Serge Sarkisians to lead Armenia.

Surely, this is all correct and accurate.

OK, I accept that there is the small matter about his record. But why are we foolishly focusing on what he has done instead of what he might one day do?

It’s enough already.

Stop repeating that 370,000 have emigrated from Armenia during his Presidency. This is true, but who cares?

Stop repeating that Armenia has a 30% poverty rate after 10 years of Sarkisian’s rule. This is true also, but so what?

Stop repeating that Sarkisian, who signed the flawed Armenia-Turkey Protocols, is the leadership choice of the oligarchs and monopolies destroying Armenia. This too might be true, but why don’t you let it go?

Stop repeating that Sarkisian himself said he will not continue his rule over Armenia into a third term, not as president nor as prime minister, and that he said he doesn’t believe any single individual should rule for over 10 years. You say tomato, I say tomahto. And if he was always honest, he wouldn’t be a very good politician.

I get it.

Many said at the time that Serge Sarkisian accepted the Constitutional Reforms designed to transform Armenia into a democratic parliamentary government, only to take the decidedly undemocratic step of continuing his rule as prime minister. It now seems like these people were not wrong, and their faith in the promised new era of democracy will sink to a new low. But why do we always have to sweat the details?

It is time for us to stop being cynical. It is time for us to accept that Armenia’s next Prime Minister will be Serge Sarkisian. And he will be the best. He will keep the borders safe. He will prepare another generation of leaders like himself.

Let’s rejoice!

***

Note: Haig Kayserian’s last op-ed for the Armenian Weekly, published last July, was entitled “President Sarkisian Must Declare He Will Not Become Prime Minister.” And in case you couldn’t already tell, this latest piece (“Prime Minister Serge Sarkisian Is an Inspired Choice”) was purely satirical. 

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About Haig Kayserian

Haig Kayserian is the Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU). He has previously held several leadership positions in the Armenian-Australian community. Haig holds a Bachelor’s degree in Media and Cultural Studies from Macquarie University. He is an investor in internet technology startups.

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36 Comments

  1. It seems that half the population in Armenia is named Sarkisian. Naming somebody else will totally throw them off balance.

  2. Your article reminds me of a song sung on the football pitches in England, “Always look on the bright side of life”. 😉
    Very entertaining…

  3. Karen Karabedian dynamic businessman must participate in new government team +7.50% GDP achieved 2017.

  4. Did Sarkisian combat corruption in Armenia? Did he stop the exodus from the country? and if we believe government data, poverty has increased in Armenia to over 50% of the population. Democracy, and civil liberties have been diminished with the new constitution …..and all these were done with the approval of the supreme leader.

  5. Strange article. Million arguments against Serge’s new appointment, but conclusion is to accept him as our leader because he is the best…..
    What a waste of time….
    This is nothing to do with what people are saying about Serge. He is number one candidate to go to jail. And there is no chance that people will accept him, without him using his police force against our people and even killing our people like he and his surrounding did in 2008.
    I know that in diaspora we still have people who travel to Armenia every year, but do not care if Armenia soon will disappear. They will simply switch their traveling plans to France or something and go on with their lives. We need to stop this and stand next to people of Armenia and reject dictatorship that Serge is implementing to save his skin.

  6. Haig Kayserian, I was flabbergasted until I noticed the endnote saying this article is satirical.
    If Serzh succeeds in becoming PM, it will be a big embarrassment for Armenia and will have dire consequences. This guy has two priorities, a) inflating his and his family’s wealth, by robbing the country, b) using Armenia for Karabakh’s defense.
    During the 20 years of rule by 2 Karabakh natives, Armenia has sunken economically and politically to a dangerous, if not lethal, depth. Today’s Armenia is not the one I knew during my college years in Yerevan in 1970s. Education has suffered dramatically, 90% of factories are destroyed, health care is in disastrous condition, corruption if flourishing, and people are leaving in large numbers out of desperation. Armenia has become country # 1 by cancer deaths because sick people are unable to obtain proper treatment; it’s too expensive. Remember, Robert’s wife owned the county’s largest hospital in Ajapnyak, and the cost per day in the hospital skyrocketed. Serzh is doing the same. All his relatives became billionaires the next day they arrived from Karabakh. Remember March 1 2008, when 10 people were gunned down in Yerevan after he was “elected” president. I call him rapist and murderer of a nation. I don’t consider him Armenian. He should be expelled from Armenia and sent to his native Karabakh that he loves so much! How stupid one should be to think this indecent and shameless person, this criminal, is the only one who can rule Armenia? Has Armenia fallen that low? No way!

    • I could not have said it better myself. However, Serjik becoming a prime minister looks to be a foregone conclusion…

    • I wholeheartedly agree with you. Olygarch is and always be an oligarch. These people should be stopped filling in their pockets on the expense of the country and the citizens of armenia. Serj and his party drained Armenia, and still consider him the best candidate? Something is wrong somewhere…

    • I’m not sure what you mean by this “b) using Armenia for Karabakh’s defense.” will you explain please? I like to understand what you meant by saying Using, and by saying Armenia for Karabakh’s defense. Thank you before hand.

    • I’m 100% agree with You. I would like to add something more.
      Before sending him to prison, all his properties and holdings
      which mostly are in overseas, specially in the USA should be confiscated
      and return to the people of Armenia.

  7. We can thank the ARF for supporting the constitutional referendum that allows Serge Sarkisian to become Prime Minister for another 10 years.

    • ARF didn’t support it, they were the first to propose it, they always had. But Canada runs the same way too, so does England and other countries too. It will get better, things have been getting better, we just like to moan a lot and exaggerate everything, in the chaos we forget to compare Armenia’s corruption with the corruption in the West. The corruption in the West is much worse than Armenia, the only difference is the people in the West are full and not walking around hungry. Message for all, Do you care about Armenia? Do you consider yourself Armenian? Do you want to do something about the problem or just sit and complain? If you are one of the few who see the problem and would like to do something about it, then please move to Armenia.

  8. He did show the worst performance in all areas. Armenia did not gain anything during his presidency and will not again. He has very limited mental and personnel capacities as a person, therefore he can not be a leader. Our country needs a real person with multiple talents and intellect, not a money motivated oligarch. It is going to be a waste of time for our homeland.

    • Although I do agree with most of what you’re saying, it would help to remember that he did in fact take power in 2008, after where the Western banks broke the world’s financially (one comedian puts it). And yes, he didn’t do well to make the country bounce back. If you live in Armenia long enough, you will realize that every man with a hammer considers him self a professional, no matter than he doesn’t even know how to hammer a nail down properly. The same is reflected in our political system (No exaggeration btw). It is really comical to see how they run things, top to bottom. Very inefficient, HENCE, why we need professional diaspora to move back and help with this infant nation. If 5% of the people commenting on social media like they are part of some force or something, move back to Armenia and actually do something, Armenia would be in a much better place.
      the 15,000 Syrians that moved to Armenia, have changed so much already. We belong in our fatherland of 8,000 years. If you care, move back.

  9. What business is it of yours who the prime minister of Armenia will be? Is Armenia your homeland? Are you a citizen of the Republic of Armenia? Or do you give yourself the right to break international law by attempting to influence the politics of a foreign country?

  10. Since past records don’t count, I nominate Haig Kayserian for the prime minister’s roll. Who will second it? …anyone out there?

  11. How sad the author of this article, Haig Kayserian has such a narrow view of leadership. Mr. Kayserian, for your information, leaders are individuals who build nations. Yes, we care that over 500,000 (five hundred thousand) Armenians have left their country. Yes, we care Sargsyan has encourages people like brother Sasha and friends to embezzled the country beyond anyone’s imagination. Yes, we care that Sargsyan has tolerated and encouraged rampant corruption. Of course, we care that Armenia has 30 % poverty rate. (I am sure you would also care if you were one of the 30% who lived in poverty.) To be exact, it is more like 40% poverty rate. Yes, we care when Sargsyan tries to please the oligarchs and the monopolists who are preoccupied in self-enrichment activities. Yes, we care that he does not give away the liberated land to the Turks. Yes, Mr. we care when “You say tomato, I say tomahto.” They are all spoiled tomatoes. Sargsyan and his group had their chance to build a NATION. Sargsyan’s government has been nothing but an example of FAILED LEADERSHIP. Time for a change with capable, ethical and transparent leaders for Armenia… Armenian leaders who put Armenia’s interest before their own interests. For now, that’s all, Mr. Kayserian.

  12. All those seeing only the negative aspects of a great leader are to consider as to how to take part in active society-building factors. Great Britain took one thousand years to become civilized. Serge Sarkissian is the first example of a constructive leader. It takes generations to add value to a whole nation. His leadership is ranked as the first healthy leader over 2800 years and more of our nation. Those who leave the country help the government from an extra burden of doing nothing in their country except criticizing and fomenting disorder. The character of a good citizen is in adding value to where he belongs in society.

  13. Take off “stop saying “ and your article perfectly represents Serje Sarkisian as president who ruled Armenia past 10 years. If after that all you can vote for them so you need a doctor

  14. Serjh is just a “keep things the same for the benefit of my daily khorovats” politician, same as his predecessors, so that enough time can pass where he gets enough money to have his extended family taken care of for the future. Apparently 10 years was not enough, he needs a little more time. The secret formula? Be a yes man for Russia. Azeris are killing Artsakhtsis? No problem, at least they are not killing Russians. Azeris are attacking Armenia itself? Who cares it’s far from Yerevan, and why bother Russia with our “40 year security contract”. Azerbaijan attempted a quick war and victory with the result of 100 Armenian valuable troops getting killed? Eh that’s life, we can thank Mother Russia for “brokering” another “ceasefire”. Azerbaijan took some strategic land reducing Artsakh’s security? So what, that was a little piece of land, plus Russia’s security wasn’t compromised. Let’s remember: according to the Armenian Weekly “analysts” who “understand all the intricate details of geopolitics” that show up in the comments here, Russia is the greatest thing ever, and we must look out for Mother Russia’s interests before our own.

    These are the “accomplishments” of the Armenian government of the past 25 years. As the youth is emigrating and/or getting killed defending the border, hold a press conference once in a while and claim “our patience is running out”. Or here’s a better one: “if the aggression continues Armenia will recognize Artsakh”. Well, us diaspora fools “living in the comforts of our homes in the west” must finally understand and accept that Armenia’s “leaders” want to be on par with the best and wealthiest of the diaspora. They have no interest in forming a viable nation for the future of Armenians everywhere. As long as the oghi and khorovats is secure who cares about anything else? You want to see positive changes for Armenia? The only way that Armenia will see any positive changes, is when the old soviet dinosaur class goes extinct, and a forward thinking, young, educated and charismatic leader comes along that can negotiate with Russia instead of kissing her feet and also find dialogue with the USA, all for the benefits of Armenia’s future.

  15. I think anyone with an iota of intelligence will agree that what is going on in Armenia is wrong. Apart from the fact that it means many more years of economic stagnation, poverty and corruption, it will put Armenia right next to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia. The damage to Armenia’s image will be extremely painful for both the country and diaspora.
    I feel very sad about what is happening in Armenia. I have the feeling that we in diaspora are responsible for this as well. I remember years ago when US ambassador to Armenia, Marie Yovanovitch, made statements about diaspora’s unwillingness to push for democracy in Armenia. I was furious. All Armenian Americans were furious. How dare this ambassador criticize Armenians in diaspora while she refuses to condemn the Armenian Genocide. Now, I understand that she was right. We took Armenia for granted. We kept repeating the same nonsensical argument that Armenia needs time. Some still repeat that nonsense on this same page by arguing that it took Europeans a thousand years to become civilized!! Democracy is not less important than building roads or hospitals. Democracy is not less important than advocating for Genocide recognition. A strong Armenia will not beg the world to recognize its past, it will force the world to recognize it. Now, keep doing the same things. Gather in front of Turkish embassies and repeat the same things that have been said a zillion times. You will do it the next year too and the year after. Maybe, it is time to understand that holding demonstrations in front of Armenia’s embassies is the shortest way to the recognition of the Genocide.

  16. I can see that everyone knows what the problems are, but yet no one has presented any solutions (except get rid of the leader). We expect one person to solve all of the problems on his own, while we sit on our FAT behinds criticizing him. It’s only fair to present all aspects of Armenia’s achievements in a very difficult atmosphere to see the true picture.
    This reminds me of the “Arab Spring” that swept through the middle east. Yes, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen etc. are in much better form now since their leaders were the cause of all their problems. Wake up Armenians, and don’t fall to this rhetoric.

  17. Unger Haik, I am disappointed about your article and how you think. It seems it has become a past time of so called active Armenians in Diaspora to be ONLY “keyboard worriers.” People seating in comfort of their homes from Los Angeles to Sidney and in between are coming up with such great ideas about how should thing be in Armenia, when they do not have slightest clue what Armenia is. FYI, Armenia is not only for visiting two weeks, drinking coffee at outdoor cafes, going to Sevan and Garni. I decided to take some actions, so back in December of 2016, I left my well-paying job in Los Angeles and moved to Armenia to become part of building a nation. If I can do it, lots of others in Diaspora can do it too, but the question is do they really want to do it? Or seating in comfort of their homes in West and criticizing Armenia or throwing out their bright ideas is much easier? People need to stop all these nonsenses and it they are concern about Armenia, they shall move to Armenia and help building a nation that future generations will be proud of it. There is a lot to do and everyone can help if they come to Armenia.

    • Good on you, but you know why Armenians are not moving to Armenia in large numbers, besides the “akhpar” discrimination, that is? Because the mentality of the leadership stinks and it does not show any kind of hope for Armenia’s future as a strong, successful nation. They have no ideas or solutions, only excuses of why things must stay the same. April 2016 proved that to me, the opportunity to expand Artsakh’s security was killed on the spot and the one person which had that idea is currently in jail on trumped up charges. 100 valuable Armenian heroes are dead with no consequences for the terrorist act against the nation. With such bozos running the show with their dead-ended politics, I’d rather stay in the comforts of my warm home in the west. In the meantime, I will also enjoy my freedom of calling them a bunch of incompetent crooks and failures of the Armenian nation. If you manage to get a visionary with solutions for a leader for the benefit of Armenia’s future one day, come back and let me know. Many of us will definitely reconsider ditching our comforts of the west then.

  18. Even tough this article was intended to be satirical, it was misunderstood and created controversy. The writer miscalculated.
    Armenian politicians, sadly and disappointingly, are playing with the same playbook of Putin. Serge gets his orders from Putin period.
    Until such time that a new generation of leaders emerge, with no ties or connections to Russia, honest and not corrupt, no real change can happen in Armenia.
    Vart

  19. I am sorry Haig, you were wrong on this Occassion. Without going into detail let Serj Sarkissian and his cronies genuinely satiate one forward deed for the Nation.

    Action speaks louder than words

    Գործունէութիւնը աւելի զորաւոր է քան խօսքը

    Ապագայի խօստումները տեղ չեն գրաւում, ի՞նչ արեցիկ անցեալում ի նպաստ Հայութեան:

  20. The editor in charge
    The Armenian Weekly

    Dear sir, on two occasions I wrote in a comment and by the look of it it’s off your page. Would you please advise the short comings of my comments. I am simply puzzled as to why my comments are off your page?

    • Hello,

      Your comment has since been approved. For future reference, all comments that are posted to our site go through a moderation process (i.e. they are either approved or rejected by a member of our staff). We have a small staff and a large number of incoming comments at any given time, so that is why there may sometimes be a delay between when you post a comment and when it actually appears on our site. In the future, if you have questions about commenting, please refer to our “Rules for Commenting” section or check the “Reader FAQ” to see if your question may already be answered there.

      Thank you for your readership,

      The Armenian Weekly Staff

  21. It is obvious that we have established a new royal house. with one change . The King is dead. long live the same KING!

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