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Heritage Party Secretary Explains Why She’s Leaving the Party

Heritage Party secretary Karine Hakobyan at a press conference in Yerevan today officially announced her plans to leave the party, pointing out that she joined the party to do great work with other party members, however, things have turned out otherwise.

“The issue isn’t personal; it doesn’t refer only to the Heritage Party, especially for me. The issue is that which over the years became acerbated and reached a dangerous limit today,” she said.

Being more specific, Hakobyan cited the years-long practice of electing specific individuals that has led Armenia to the current state of increased migration out of the country.

“Today the same line continues and delves deeper… People aren’t leaving only because of [poor] social conditions; they’re leaving, first of all, because of injustice. It pains me to say, this isn’t criticism of the Heritage Party, but self-criticism,” she said.

Hakobyan confessed that being in the party’s ranks for two years, she’s had several disagreements in many strategic and tactical issues.

“I believe that one has to take a line, follow it till the end and try to achieve success — even the fight against foreign-language schools shouldn’t have begun and ended with one letter. It should have become the start of a public protest. Our approaches in different issues were different,” she said.

Her decision to leave the Heritage Party is also due to the party’s list of candidates for the upcoming parliamentary election.

“Everything has to be justified, [such as] on what principle are we categorizing — not only the Heritage Party’s, but also the other lists. There are youth on these lists who are completely unknown to the public, and though I support the entry of youth into politics, they have to be known to the public though their political stance, their opposition presence. The National Assembly is not a practice field where people are sent to find out later whether they are honest or knowledgeable, or not. There has to be responsibility — who you’re sending to parliament and for whom you’re offering a path and who tomorrow is going to decide the fate of our country and our people,” she said.

Speaking about her and other Heritage Party governing leaders’ position on this matter, Hakobyan emphasized that though many were against, they weren’t independent in their positions.

“I’m not talking about Larisa Alaverdyan,… though, in my opinion, she had a role in the logic of the list. Alaverdyan said that she is stepping back from the electoral race, but as a symbolic gesture, she will be in 41st place [in the list], to support the Heritage Party,” she said, adding that for her and many others, the candidates’ list was a surprise — it was unjustified and illogical, she said.

“The party secretary is the third figure — this isn’t a position, it’s a responsibility, which should have been evident in the list. And when they dismiss you, then they dismiss you from the party… It’s not my decision; it’s reciprocal,” she stressed.

“The list was compiled by [party leader Raffi] Hovannisian and a few advisors… the same negative phenomena exists also in the Free Democrats list. All the unknown names are a surprise — especially unacceptable is to see in the top six former deputy police chief Masis Ayvazyan, who I’ve never seen at a public protest. The contents of the list will lower the Heritage Party’s votes,” she said.