Press reports Ter-Petrosyan's political activity

Aravot and Zhamanak Yerevan run reports, that Armenia’s first president, Levon Ter-Petrosyan, has held a series of meetings outside Yerevan. This might signify, what the newspapers consider, Mr. Ter-Petrosyan’s return to politics.
The former president has kept predominantly out of the public eye, after his resignation in 1997. In the run up to this year’s parliamentary elections rumors circulated about his affiliation with the radical Impeachment bloc and his alleged plans to use the bloc for launching a presidency campaign. In the pre-election period some statements came out from the Armenian National Movement (HHSH) that “Levon Ter-Petrosyan is the only alternative to Serge Sargsyan”. This statement, disputable at best, nevertheless points out that the former president’s return to power is still possible in the eyes of some political leaders.
Mr. Ter-Petrosyan is widely associated with the economic hardships suffered by many Armenians during the years of his presidency. Ruling elites afterwards have enjoyed the political gains of comparing their rule with the “dark years” of the early nineties. Additionally, opposition parties and activists are often displayed as affiliated with the former president and his party , which serves well to discredit them.
It is early to conclude whether these reports of Mr. Ter-Petrosyan’s political activity are indeed part of larger move. It is also difficult to imagine him getting any sizable percentage of votes in next year’s presidential elections. HHSH tried to participate in the recent parliamentary elections by forging an alliance with several other opposition parties. It eventually withdrew from the elections when all attempts of an alliance resulted in nothing. It is possible, that Mr. Ter-Petrosyan and HHSH might try to play a role in uniting the opposition this time, something crucially important if anyone is ever to challenge Serge Sargsyan’s bid for presidency in 2008.

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. Did the reports indicate what kind of meetings and specifically where and how many attended or where they private meetings etc? Would be interesting to know although I personally think that an LTP return is more likely to divide the opposition even more rather than help to unite it. Still, it would be funny to see Vazgen Manoukian and Levon Ter Petrosian on the same platform talking about the need for an effective opposition and the interests of democracy. Wonder who would mention 1996 first? 😉

  2. So far the meetings were in Vanadzo, Gyumri and Aparan. It was really unclear what kind of meetings these were etc. However a spokesperson for the HHSH later said that Ter-Petrosyan met with what he called “our friends”.
    Yes, Ter-Petrosyan and Manukyan together sounds funny, but funnier (and rather sadder) you can remember, that the alliance I wrote about was between Manukyan, Raffi and HHSH (and smb. else too, I always forget). Anyway, they failed to unite because of disputes around who should go first in the bloc list (doh!), but still, Manukyan was ready to consider an alliance with HHSH.

  3. Interesting how things change, but I suppose that’s politics. Still, I don’t know, I just think that LTP and HHSh’s names are a kiss of death to any political movement in Armenia, but I have to admit I don’t regularly ask people about it. What do you think?

  4. A difficult question.
    I too think a mention of links with LTP and the HHSH is still enough to mar anyone. Still what I believe is happening is this. As I see it, the electorate here generally falls into three groups, those who are pro-power (independent really of who is in power), those who are moderate and vary between supporting for example the ARF (on idealogical grounds) to select opposition parties and leaders (people like Raffi, Shavarsh Kocharyan etc). Lastly there are the radical opposition (probably wrongly called so) who go from Geghamyan to basically anyone ready to speak tough and loud (and the Impeachment bloc illustrated this beautifully).
    Now, the moderates are what basically makes all sorts of color revolutions virtually impossible. And I believe the authorities are doing an excellent job at keeping this part of the electorate always with someone to vote for and generally content. LTP still doesn’t buy with them. However what has changed I think, is that the radicals, who several years ago would have rejected LTP altogether (because even they are the people who probably suffered the most at his time) are ready to consider him.
    The last elections were another blow to ghosts like Geghamyan, Demirchyan etc. They will probably come back to run for president, but I believe the lack of leaders is making itself heard.

  5. but I believe the lack of leaders is making itself heard.

    No kidding…

  6. I think, LTP will not take part in Presidental Elections-2008. he is clever enough to not do that. I think, the reports of papers about series of meetings are endeavours of imitation something that LTP was formulated 9 years ago- `

  7. I think, the reports of papers about series of meetings are endeavours of imitation something which LTP formulated 9 years ago as –

  8. I think, the reports of papers about series of meetings are endeavours of imitation something which LTP formulated 9 years ago as Azgwvi xndranq or National request.

  9. Have the hardships that existed, say in 1997, disappeared? I know they have disappeared for the ARF but I don’t know if corruption has disappeared or not. I know about the vigorous fight against corruption by the current administration so that’s probably enough.
    One more thing to consider about the hardships in the early 90-s is whether LTP was a president of Tajikistan, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Russia and all the other countries that had economic hardships as well.

  10. >nazarian
    I’m not much into getting my opinions mixed into the blog, but still, there is one sole thing the armenian people will not forget LTP for, and that is the way he sold electricity to the georgians while there was none here in Armenia
    A second thing, LTP actually put the tradition of rigged elections, just as Boris Yeltsin did in Russia. You can say that anyone from the current club would have done so on his place, but still fact is, none of them would have been there if we had fair elections in 96.

  11. […] Armenia’s first president, Levon Ter-Petrossian, re-entering politics?; […]

  12. […] if discussion in the blogosphere is anything to go by, few local Armenians relish the idea of the return of the elder statement who is still blamed for many of the problems in place today. […]

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