First President Levon Ter-Petrossian Will Run Again for Presidential Elections 2008

Addressing around 10,000 people gathered for opposition rally at the Freedom Square on October 26, Levon Ter-Petrossian announced his intention to run for president concluding an hour long analysis of situation in the country, and noting, that his decision was prompted by the recent attempts to oppress his supporters by the incumbent authorities.

“The recent pressures against my supporters and the general atmosphere of this rally made me announce my decision to run for president earlier then I intended”, said the First President of RA Levon Ter-Petrossian.
The First President spoke for 1 hour 20 minutes. Apart from informing the public about his intention to run, Ter-Petrossian made several announcements. He noted, that the task of the president to be elected in 2008 is to make sure, that the terrorist act of October 27, 1999 is fully disclosed. “If Serzh Sargsyan is elected president, it won’t happen”, he said.
Levon Ter-Petrossian noted, that Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sargsyan have great services towards the Republic of Armenia, and it would be more correct at this point, if they accepted their mistakes committed after 1999 and left the helms of government.
The First President also announced, that the division between Kharabakh Armenians and Armenians as well as the tendency of blaming all the negative developments in the country on the “Kharabakh Armenians” is not acceptable, and promised to fight against it.
Stepan Demirchyan, the leader of the Peaple’s Party of Armenia and Aram Z. Sargsyan, the head of the “Republic” party also made speeches prior to Ter-Petrossian’s speech.
According to various estimations there were 10-15 thousand people at the rally. Greta Sargsyan, mother of Vazgen Sargsyan was also present.
Among politicians on the speakers’ platform were Hmayak Hovhannisyan, the chairman of the Politologists’ Union, who was included in the list of Samvel Babayan’s “Dashink” party in 2007 Parliamentary elections and Hovhannes Hovhannisyan, leader of Armenia’s Progressive Party. [Via]


Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. Dear All,
    site is updated. You can watch a short clip from the 261007 public meeting and
    read Levon Ter-Petrossian’s full speech. Courtesy to

  2. […] Free Europe appeared to inflate the numbers by putting it at 20,000. Bloggers such as Observer put the number at 10,000, while the Associated Press reports “up to 15,000.” Whatever figure, however, the crowd […]

  3. […] president estimated the crowd at the rally to be between 20-40,000, bloggers such as Observer reckoned it was more like 10,000. Others estimated it to be between 10 and […]

  4. Armeninow has an interesting article “DECISION 2008: LOOKING BACK ON LEVON“, which covers LTP’s policy towards Turkey, and which should be read and remembered by all Armenians, who care about our land, our dignity and the sufferings of Genocide vuctims:

    In August of the same year, Armenia’s president stated in Yerevan: “As a scholar, politician and president of the republic who has his people’s mandate, I am sure that the war will not have any good consequences for Armenia. The outcome of the war will be the same as in 1920 when Armenia was a state with a territory of 60,000 square kilometers. There was a serious possibility then to create and preserve independent statehood in this territory if the authorities had conducted a flexible policy, if they had not been fooled by deceitful assurances, such as the documents of the Sevre Treaty, if they hadn’t relied on the United States, England, France and tried to solve their problems immediately with Turkey. Instead of that, they longed for totally unrealistic dreams and lost half of Armenia, because at that time Armenia waged war with its three neighbors: with Azerbaijan, Turkey and even with Georgia – our traditional friend and ally.”
    This was said when the military conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh was at its height, when Nagorno-Karabakh was surrounded by the Azeri army, and the military operations crossed the border of ten regions of the Republic of Armenia. A little later, the Turkish daily “Hurriyet” permitted itself the following comment on the dialogue in Brazil: “The conversation of Demirel and Ter-Petrosyan reminded of paternal directions to a son.” Demirel also noted that “one cannot allow the world to govern Armenia, you should try to govern your situations by yourselves.” Ter-Petrosyan managed to correctly interpret the essence of the “paternal directions” addressed to him regarding the inadmissibility of “foreign government of the country”. The matter, of course, concerned the rich Armenian Diaspora dominated by “nationalistic sentiments” whose outstanding representatives expressed readiness to participate in the process of re-building Armenian statehood. On June 29, 1992, two weeks after the meeting in Brazil, Ter-Petrosyan expelled Dashnak leader Hrayr Marukhyan from the republic.

  5. Well, it should be remembered that as there is no peace deal the conflict is still ongoing and will depend on when Azerbaijan builds up its military sufficient enough to take Karabakh by force. Moreover, we still don’t know what’s really being discussed in negotiations and the pressure is now apparently on to sign a framework peace deal before the election next year.
    Anyway, given Aris Ghazinyan’s last “analysis” I have to be honest I don’t really consider what his writing food for thought. While obviously anti-Ter Petrosian he fails to say anything that so far can be seen to have proven correct. This is unlike Vahan Ishkanyan who while being anti-LTP makes some very valid points. For example, in his last piece on Ter Petrosian, Ghazinyan wrote:

    […] his team proved incompetent in presenting the very process of overcoming the mentioned problems, and instead of creating a “myth of a boss” was engaged only in unmasking the incumbent authorities as almost all opposition forces did and continue to do. That is why, on September 21, Levon Ter-Petrosyan (unlike Karen Demirchyan) did not state his nomination thereby stating the defeat of his own team. It is obvious that if the first president of Armenia indeed intends to recover his lost position ever, he will not accept nomination for the presidential election in 2008. By announcing his plans to run for president he would have given up his political career for good.
    Incidentally, I don’t understand Ghazinyan referring to “military operations crossed the border of ten regions of the Republic of Armenia.” There are only 11 regions of Armenia, including Yerevan, and only 4 of them border Azerbaijan. I’m confused by this and think that someone needs to explain this because I just don’t see how possible it is given the geography of Armenia.
    Anyway, other than that, as it is the Diaspora and NON-ARMENIANS that are leading the battle to get the Genocide recognition, what is the point of the Republic concentrating so much on it? Indeed, the current authorities are also saying they want to normalize relations without preconditions i.e. Genocide recognition. In fact, the failure of Turkey to recognize the Genocide has nothing to do with Armenia, and Armenians here have done nothing to push bills in France, the U.S. and elsewhere.
    Moreover, as one argument is that the Genocide will never be recognized by Turkey until it is on good terms with Armenia, and that it will likely recognize the massacres and deportations as Genocide without any need for territorial reparations because of EU aspirations, may objective analysts would argue that it is the Diaspora insistence on unattainable demands from Turkey such as land that is preventing Armenia and Turkey resolving their past history.
    Meanwhile, Armenia is now becoming more and more isolated from the surrounding region to the extent whereby I don’t see how it can prosper detached from other countries who are now exhibiting strong and sustainable economic growth. Of course, that also depends on whether you consider the economic growth established in Armenia, based mainly on construction and other industries not reliant on cheap and multiple transit routes, is real and more importantly, sustainable.
    So, basically, I don’t actually get the point of Ghazinyan’s “analysis” and not least because any retrospective on Ter Petrosian is far more than this. Indeed, we have to face facts. Ter Petrosian was president when Armenia achieved victory in Karabakh, it was his government and defense minister that built up Armenia’s army, it was their economic reforms that were recently credited with economic growth experienced today. They also opened up the Medzamor nuclear reactor again.
    Of course, the other really negative aspects of Ter Petrosian’s reign are obvious — corruption, cronyism, assassinations, attacks on the opposition media and parties, energy shortages, and some would mention, the arrival of Robert Kocharian in Armenia.

  6. Onnik – the current division of Armenia into 10 Marzes (regions) is a relatively new development, as far as I remember it was proposed by Kocharian, to cut down the bloated beurocracy of Regional governments. I don’t know exact figures, but we inherited at least double that number of Marzes from the Soviet Armenia. The current Shirak marz for example used to be divided into Akhuryan and Ashotsk Marzes (or maybe there was even a third one, but I couldn’t find any sources to confirm that).

  7. Ok, so basically he’s talking about the Soviet era regions — Shamshadin, Chambarak (or whatever that Russian name is) etc. Even so, that’s not a sign of good writing when it isn’t spelled out like that. Very misleading in fact using old terminology without explaining it. Anyway, my main point still stands. His analysis after Ter Petrosian’s 21 September speech was totally skewed and actually wrong. I feel the same about this one too.

  8. I have a simple question: Lets assume, Turkey publicly announces that if a pro-peace leader wins the presidential election (this means Petrossian from the perspective of Ankara) in Armenia, it will establish diplomatic relations with Armenia and consider to open the border; what what would be the reaction of Armenian voters? Would it increase the support for Petrossian or backfire? 14 years ago there was a meeting in Paris between Alpaslan Turkes(leader of Turkish Nationalist Action Party) and Petrossian about the normalization of the relations between Turkey and Armenia. The outcome of the meeting was very positive however the hardliners in Armenia did not tolerate Petrossian’s policy toward Azerbaijan and Turkey.

  9. If you look at the map Armenia has a perfect location, we are on cross-roads. To make use of it we need to establish good relations with our neighbours. We cant get rid of them so we have to learn how to live with them. They are not going anywhere. Let’s be realistic. The past is past we cant change it, however the we canhave an impact on the future and apositive one if we act smartly.
    The future of Armenia is to become a regional centre in services and technology. This is very possible. We had that chance in late 90s early 00s but we lost that because there was no peace deal.
    There are many landlocked countries in the world who do pretty good.

  10. […] 4 Accusations Aramazd is surely taking Internet and Facebook seriously. Just like at the October 26th rally, this time I received an invitation to attend the November 16th opposition rally via my Facebook […]

  11. […] to comply with the directions of the authorities, not to broadcast the announcement about the first opposition rally on October 26 with the participation of Former President Levon […]

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