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Peace and Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s Elegant Exit from Politics

Journalist Artur Minasyan’s Facebook post from March 22 regarding the then-upcoming Armenian parliamentary elections, first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan and his idea of peace, and the election campaign carried out by the Armenian National Congress – People’s Party of Armenia opposition bloc.

Armenian National Congress, in all likelihood, will not take up seats in the National Assembly. It has been evident since the start of the election campaign and even before that; and now, when there are only ten days left to the elections, it is even more obvious. Ter-Petrosyan himself was perfectly aware of that. And that is the reason why he proclaimed peace as his campaign slogan. One should exit the political arena elegantly, and nobody does it better than Ter-Petrosyan.

The generations to solve the Karabakh conflict will call him the founding president of Armenia who twice left politics, being misunderstood by the majority of the people who do not value peace, far ahead of his time. And as for the Congress, the minimum level of its survival in the future is guaranteed: peace is always a relevant topic. They will be an extra-parliamentary party in name but in essence – a public organization. Of peace-building. They might even get peacemaking grants if they manage to found nonprofits under the party. In short, they will somehow remain on the surface of public water. Until better times.

This, of course, is Ter-Petrosyan plan minimum; although it seems to work well enough. The plan maximum would be the 7 percent threshold [required to gain seats in the Parliament]. They could, in fact, get their 7 percent and keep the party in the political arena using the peace slogan. Both within and outside the country, there are 7 percent of people/forces/states interested in making the Congress a faction for the sake of peace. But no one can draw these 7 percent and present them to the Congress on a silver platter. To support – yes, to contribute – of course, not to steal the votes – yes; but the Congress itself has to persuade these 7 percent – about 70-80 thousand people – to give their votes to the party. And this requires a quality campaign, not the unprofessional vaudeville carried out by those around Ter-Petrosyan.

Ter-Petrosyan has done his very best for his party. But the party proved worthless. As to why such a talented and ingenious person is surrounded by such inept people, that is a completely different story. It’s a pity that the Congress is bound to suffer the same fate as the [Pan-Armenian National Movement party] of 2000s.