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Not Revolution or Rebellion, But Mobilization: Levon Ter-Petrossian

Leader of the Armenian National Congress (HAK) Levon Ter-Petrossian at the HAK rally on Friday spoke briefly about the document outlining grounds for pre-term presidential and parliamentary elections and “the need to form a legitimate government” presented by the opposition bloc within the framework of its dialogue on Aug. 9 with the ruling authorities.


Ter-Petrossian cited confidential US diplomatic cables recently published by whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks in which former US diplomats called into question the legitimacy of the 2008 presidential election as further proof of his and his alliance’s claims that the 2008 election was rigged. The opposition leader then cited another WikiLeaks cable that revealed violations in Constitutional Court procedures, which he said undermines the National Assembly and makes its existence “meaningless.”


Drawing on the document prepared by HAK, Ter-Petrossian noted that because of the existence of 76 MPs with business interests, the National Assembly has become a lobbying, corrupt body; that is, an organization that serves the interests of individual oligarchs, big business, economic clans and monopolists.


The opposition leader then stated that the principle of impartiality in the judicial system in Armenia has been violated. Referring to the recent arrest of HAK youth activists, he particularly drew attention to Tigran Araqelyan who is in pre-trial detention and is the reason the opposition bloc has suspended its talks with the authorities.


“If [Tigran] Araqelyan is set free in the coming days, we will be ready to return to the negotiation table. Otherwise, by keeping the dialogue suspended, we will be compelled to talk to the authorities in another language. By another language I mean not a revolution or uprising but the forcing of pre-term presidential and parliamentary elections through more frequent rallies and an utmost consolidation or mobilization of the popular masses,” he added, reports RFE/RL’s Armenian service.


Ter-Petrossian said HAK knew from the start that the dialogue wouldn’t lead to their desired outcome — because the outcome in all cases would’ve been dependent “on the level of pressure from the masses.”


“We are guided not by the crazy idea of a life-or-death struggle or the irresponsible slogan ‘death or freedom,’ but by the cold realization… to use all the lawful possibilities to reach our goal and fulfill our duty to the people and the state. If other concerned political forces also set aside minor issues and became guided by this realization, we would have had a completely different country long ago.


“The next HAK rally will take place on Sept. 23,” Ter-Petrossian concluded.