Levon Ter-Petrossian Not Really Sorry, but Quite Inspiring…

In his 1 hour-long speech on the November 16 radical opposition rally, the First President of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrossian addressed the charges, claims and accusations brought against him by the supporters of the current administration, especially President Robert Kocharyan and Prime Ministers Serge Sargsyan, responding to them mostly using extracts from documents written by Robert Kocharyan or under his supervision, thus clearly depicting the incumbent president as a liar, person deprived of principles and any sense of decency. The First president avoided even addressing any of the charges by Serge Sargsyan, bouncing them back by saying, that all these charges are as much addressed to Serge Sargsyan himself, as a key member of Ter-Petrossian’s government. The First President didn’t sound sorry at all, when saying “sorry” only for bringing Kocharyan and Sargsyan into the Armenian government, which he called a “disaster”.
The rest of the speech, which was up on A1plus website only 30 minutes after the rally, concentrated on the necessity for improving the current election system by establishing professional electoral committees instead of the current party-based structure and printing the ballot papers outside of Armenia.
Ter-Petrossian again declared his goal for contesting the elections [I have translated this bit, trying to be as literal and close to the original text as possible]:

My goal and the goal of all political forces supporting me, is not gaining high offices. Our only goal instead is impeding the regeneration of the current criminal administration. Our only desire is to have a normal, civilized, rule of law state, and to insure the security, freedom and prosperity of our people, our children and our grandchildren.
So in order to dismiss any doubts, that we have any goals other than this, I also officially state the following: exactly three years after getting the post of president of the Republic of Armenia, I am prepared to abandon politics forever, giving you the possibility to elect a new president of the country in a fully free and legitimate election. [] I need the three year period to clear up these Augean Stables and put the country on normal tracks. By saying normal tracks, I understand a wide-ranging program of actions, which I will present to you in my further speeches and publications.

The rally was crowded – there were at least as many people as during the previous one, perhaps more, although it was really hard to judge because of two stages installed there by the joint efforts of the Republican party and Yerevan municipality to accommodate the concert scheduled for Saturday 17th, the next day of the opposition rally. I estimated more then 15,000 people at first, and apparently the number of participants grew towards the end. This squeezed people into the remaining space, and seemed to create an effect of having more then usual amount of people. The stage had been kindly provided to the opposition to use – and it seemed that Republicans are doing great service to the opposition, by providing their equipment, lights, projectors, etc.
The crowd was also more inspired – responding to the speech very enthusiastically, at least in the tight center where I was standing, and for a moment I felt inspired and elated. I felt, that it’s great after all, that Ter-Petrossian decided to come back – the political struggle has become so much more interesting by that. LTP is definitely much more charismatic and a better speaker then any of the politicians in the opposing camp – and today I felt for the first time ever, that he might actually have a chance of winning, because compared to him, Serge Sargsyan seems dull and weak to say the least.
Now, when I soberly view the video’s I’ve made during the rally and read the text of the speech, I can’t seem to understand, why was I feeling so good about him? LTP didn’t say anything new about the accusations brought against him. Speaking of the 2007 Parliamentary elections and electoral system changes he only reiterated Nikol Pashinyan’s claims, which back in May only roused my smile. And yet, somehow, the man had full control of my emotions – I felt I want him to be president!? Charisma? Magic? Whatever it was, he will badly need a lot more of it – because I still don’t see more then 10% change of the First President’s comeback, and I see close to 0% of reasons, for him to even attempt it at this point.

49 thoughts on “Levon Ter-Petrossian Not Really Sorry, but Quite Inspiring…

  1. Reply
    Haik - 17.11.2007

    He is a very educated and cleaver person. He is one that can compete with a British diplomat. We definitely need him for the next three years to foster the prestige of our country.
    He has no interest in power and he expressed his dislike for a hierarchical/ pyramidal structure almost in all his speeches. Also he is independent. Therefore as a libertarian-socialist I would vote for him.
    He is a tool, means to the end as he happily admits. And the end is to give a chance to our people to have a democratic society and live with dignity.
    I think the reason that Ditord was inspired was because he heard honest and educated words, a rarity in politics and especially in today’s Armenian.
    I think he needs everybody’s help.

  2. Reply
    Vahagn - 17.11.2007

    Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn’t he the one who actually created the very same pyramidal structure he is criticizing now? Didn’t oligarchs first appear during his government? Wasn’t the atmosphere of impunity widely spread already during his government? How dignified and democratic was the 1996 election and its aftermath? I think he is as guilty of all those things he is speaking against now as anyone else. He has had his chance already, but he blew it. I see no reason for bringing him back again.

  3. Reply
    Artashes - 17.11.2007

    Wow! My respect to Observer! 1 out of 1000 can honestly relay one’s own feelings, doubts, and analysis, without retrospectively editing them. Great job!
    P.S. “First President”, huh? In capital letters, huh? 🙂 Are you writing about RK as Current President? No, not enough charisma? Pity, pity… All we need is charisma! Where is The One chosen by Lord and Destiny? The impressionable youths of our Aryan nation crave you, o Chosen One! Become “MY PRESIDENT FOREVER” and lead us to the thousand-year Reich!!! 🙂

  4. Reply
    h - 17.11.2007

    Vahagn
    He admitted his guilt in his last speech. Let’s get over it and move ahead.

  5. Reply
    Onnik Krikorian - 17.11.2007

    Thanks for the post. Very interesting, especially as I left after an hour. I’ll post some photos later, but just to say that people I knew leaving the rally as I was off to meet someone later in the evening seemed to be inspired too.

  6. Reply
    Onnik Krikorian - 17.11.2007

    Incidentally, according to A1 Plus, Pashinian put the number of those attending at 85,000! The police apparently say 7,000!
    RFE/RL says 20,000, and from your account and my impressions from when I was there, I’d say that sounds about right.
    BTW: As you are someone who has been very critical of Ter Petrosian the fact that you felt inspired says a lot about the potential threat he poses to Sarkisian, perhaps.
    Thanks again for the post.

  7. Reply
    artmika - 17.11.2007

    True, he sounded like… President. With all my reservations against him, there is an ocean between him and Serj, not in favour of the latter. But Levon needs to deliver further. It was a very good start, indeed, but we need more developments and assurances, and along with reflecting to the criticism, he has to present a sound programme for, say, upcoming 3 years, as was suggested during the rally. Will write my full reflections soon, when have more time.
    Your post is quite inspiring, ditord 😉 I got similar impression from people who attanded the rally. I wish our political leaders give us more chances for inspiration, and not only during election campaigns.

  8. Reply
    Onnik Krikorian - 17.11.2007

    Then again, Reuters puts the number at 12,000. What’s your opinion, Observer? What do other [credible] media reports say?
    Just to point out to other readers that at the end of the rally Observer and I spoke on the phone and my gut reaction was that there were probably about the same number of people as last time although there could have been more because of the different dynamics of Liberty Square with the stage and all.
    There was a LOT of space at the sides and the crowd had to extend backwards towards Tumanian Street. Couldn’t clearly see how far back, but it wasn’t much. Anyway, I’m inclined to take RFE/RL’s estimate as the maximum and Reuters as the minimum given estimates for the previous rally at 10-15,000.
    Anyone want to add their two cents?

  9. Reply
    Kornelij - 17.11.2007

    I think- it was about 12-15 K. Not more. 85 K – it`s really funny. Pashinyan during rully told, that experts (?) just informed him that here are 85 K. 🙂
    He admitted his guilt in his last speech. Oh no. He told – sorry that you had no electricity etc for freedom of Karabakh. No any word about self responsibility. Just opposite

  10. Reply
    Vahagn - 17.11.2007

    I didn’t hear his last speech, but from the reports about it (including this one here), I don’t see any admission of guilt. Sorry.

  11. Reply
    h - 17.11.2007

    He said he was sorry for what he has dont and not done that didnt meet peoples expectation in his 1998 speech. He said the same with elaborations yesterday.
    How else he should appologies? get on his knees and cry?
    And anyway should he appologies for the war that was forced upon us which we won? Why Armenians have this negative attitude of mourning and complaining all the time?
    Be a liitle bit reasonable and common let’s move ahead. Read his speech carefully at http://www.a1plus.am
    We have a chance to put thing streight. Let’s give him a chance for 3 years.

  12. Reply
    Kornelij - 17.11.2007

    Mr. h – who are you? It`s hard to speak with anonimus. Than I will continiue

  13. Reply
    Observer - 17.11.2007

    Like I’ve said before, I want real change in this country. The fact, that Levon is speaking about Vano so fondly on every meeting, or that he keeps courting the oligarchs, trying to bring them into his camp, tell me, that he doesn’t represent the type of deep change I expect of him.
    By declaring, that his only goal is to discard Serzh and Rob clearly mean to me, that LTP has not perceived the true meaning of presidency. The president of Armenia, should not be someone driven by vendetta and destruction moods. The president of Armenia should come as a guarantor of the Constitution and Laws, the absolute representative of the people when facing the growing executive power of parliament with its increased ability to form government and control state budget. The president of the Republic should carry the voice of the people in tackling the Top issues faced by the country. For me the greatest outstanding issues are:
    1) Making sure Armenia becomes a rule of law state
    2) Destruction of the Beurocracy/Nomenclature and the power of sphonsorship-administrative resource
    3) Just, pro-Armenia solution of Karabach issue and ensuring security guarantees for the future
    4) Clear Foreign policy instead of lousy complimentarism, whereby nobody considers us a force anymore, because we seem to be turning to the direction, where wind is stronger 10 times a day. This includes clarification of our relations and stance on Genocide and Turkey.
    5) Clear economic policy – with stress on regional development, including with the employment of tax-monetary instruments and economic zoning.
    6) Demography and nation preservation in Armenia and in Diaspora. Issues of Citizenship, formation of economic priorities for Diaspora to continue and deepen its involvement in Armenia.
    I am sorry, but for me the fact, of the person in charge is not important – be it Serge, Levon, Raffi or Mr. H – I don’t care, as long as the elected man/woman is able to address the issues I’m speaking of and is able to persuade me, that s/he can really deliver.

  14. Reply
    Nanul - 17.11.2007

    The reason that Levon is still inspiring is that we very closely associate him with the independence/Karabakh movement. In the brain of many, many Armenians he still remains the embodiment of those days where so many people would turn up in rallies with hopes and optimism and belief that things are going to be different–we are finally going to have free and independent Armenia–the dream of so many generations of Armenians. Back then people were not so apathetic and cynical about the concept of democracy, everybody was hopeful, ready to contribute, to do something to help the effort to build a decent country. When I saw the clip of Levon’s speech in Hotel Armenia, and heard the music that they used to play before the start of the rallies in ’88-91, it swept back so many memories. In those days, as a young teenager I would stand for hours in the rallies, feeling inspired and empowered, and eagerly waiting for the day when I would be old enough to vote.
    The human beings tend to remember the good stuff and block out the negative to be able to move on. Levon and his team are trying to play the “selective amnesia” card, If Levon is able to get more access to media or have a lot of face to face time with people, I am almost sure, our people are going to give him a second chance. Whether the authorities will let that happen or not, that’s another story.

  15. Reply
    R - 17.11.2007

    But where is the next generation of Armenian leaders? The young post-soviet leader without baggage, with the vision to lead Armenians to an open, non-corrupt, prosperous society where the average citizen feels he or she has a stake?

  16. Reply
    Observer - 17.11.2007

    The sad thing is – such young post-soviet leaders all have been showing themselves as hopeless conformists so far, MIAK party and its leader Levon Martirosyan are a great illustration of that.

  17. Reply
    h - 17.11.2007

    I agree with your points Observer. I also want to see what you want and maybe a little bit more radical changes. We will know that what are LTPs plans at his next speech.
    But please dont forget that he is a Tool. as he said in his meeting with Youth. He said I am going to be your tool and please use me.
    I am sure if you write your points and pass them to him he will give a thought about them. Personally I liked some of the things that [email protected] proposed and hopefully they will have some impact on LTPs manifesto.
    I dont expect to be as radical as the manifesto that you can find at http://azat.wordpress.com/manifesto/
    but we will see. I think at the moment it is worth to put the past behind and give him a chance with our support.

  18. Reply
    h - 17.11.2007

    Hi Kornelij. We havent met before for sure so how else could I be nonimus?
    We are in a virtual place. And what if you know me , will that change anything? you already know my opinions which i belive are sufficient.

  19. Reply

    […] of Armenia. The crowd reached more than 10,000, and here are some photographs from the mood there. Armenian Observerhas covered the […]

  20. Reply
    Observer - 18.11.2007

    Artashes – thanx for the comment. It reminded me of another important issue. The thing is, I consider it a matter of self-respect to write First President Levon Ter-Petrossian or President Robert Kocharyan, that is to say, using capital letters when stressing the title of important political figures of my country, even though I immensely dislike both Kocharyan and Ter-Petrossian, I love and respect my country, and I respect the institute of Presidency, and I respect the statehood of my country – and I consider it to be directly related to my self-respect and feeling of self-esteem.
    This is all a result of my attitude towards essential realities, of which I am a bi-product. I have been to different countries, lived in US (and been to Seattle, Washington several times ;)). I’m fully well aware of all the comforts of modern life that my people and myself are deprived of today, in part also as a result of corrupt and incapable politicians ruling the state. However, despite the fact, that today I live in a house, which doesn’t even have running water and a telephone line, and I fall into dirt the minute I step out of my house – I still love and appreciate my country and everything, good or bad, that exist here.
    In fact, I think, that there is no absolute evil and no absolute good, and although President Kocharian comes really close to my understanding of absolute evil, I have to note, that he is one of the most charismatic politicians in Armenia today – perhaps even more then First President Levon Ter-Petrossian.
    But charisma – is only 1 of the 100 qualities that a President should have – that was also why I wrote this post and am still surprised even at myself and my feelings. And then- I felt it honest to leave it without further editing, because I still feel it conveys most of what I felt at the rally.

  21. Reply
    Observer - 18.11.2007

    By the way – here are videos of the speech at my YouTube Channel:
    Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtF1XVB34xE
    Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsKx15I4gMk
    And Nanul – I think your comment comes closest to the explanation of the LTP phenomenon, really interesting ideas!

  22. Reply

    […] such as The Armenian Observer, who have been highly critical of Ter Petrosian said that the speech by the first president was inspirational. The crowd [responded] to the speech very enthusiastically, at least in the tight center where I […]

  23. Reply
    kronstadt - 18.11.2007

    Vooddoo Politics & Shamanism
    here were are in dire need of someone to save us, and the one who is able to demonstrate those qualities being able to cure the masses will be the leader. In the old days they called it Shamanism, now they call it Democracy.
    Max Weber once noted that charisma plays a crucial part in politics of those societies that are deprived of coherent ideological substance. As Einsteein said “When people stop believing in everything, they’ll believe anything”. This is certainly true of Armenia today: people look at the individual personalities and appearences rather than the content of manifesto and direction of policies.
    Still, I has to give credit it to him: LTP is a skilled politician and a skilled diplomat. A good politician like such a snake as Toni Blair knows how and when to admit his mistakes, and LTP did it previously (watch this http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5259207171967580050&q=Levon+Ter-Petrosyan+site%3Avideo.google.com&total=1&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0 )
    Yet, something that comes across in his speech is that here he is, an old and experienced politician, he has nothing to loose and nothing gain. He has the skills to set things right and he can contribute those back his political community. And all that he is asking is for just 3 years of serving his people to put things “normal” and to set his legacy and role in Armenian history streight. Though I might contest what a liberalist such as LTP might mean by “normal”, I should nevertheless note that asking his people for just 3 years period and promising the eventual resignation after that could really turn tables in terms of his popularity in the following months. I mean, who could match that? The slimey careerist Bagdasaryan or the swinger Geghamyan?
    I wouldn’t say that I support LTP, but if I was in the busines of “choosing between 2 evils” I’d go with LTP. But I’m an Anarchist, Autonomist and a Libertarian-Socialist — I believe in Direct Democracy, Participatory Politics, collectivised production and distribution, an ideology that is derived from proper analysis grounded in material conditions of the day, and the doctrine of “Anarchy within Statehood” and I’m not in the business of choosing between 2 evils. “I stick to my guns” and I stick to my principles. And because one of those principles is the principle of Autonomism, I will not support LTP untill he shows us that at least some of the fundamental proposals on his list are in accordance with my ideology.
    Having said that, however, his promise to put things right and then retire forever from politics is compelling. I mean who could match that??? I’d say that statement severely diminishes the chances of any other candidate that might present themselves as “opposition” to become the focal point for discontented masses.
    I agree with Observer’s proposition that Armenia needs a foreign policy with a spine (something that I have written about many times on azat.wordpress.com ) and many people in Armenian and Diaspora feel that way, which is another reason why LTP having a reputation of a skilled diplomat could also rise again.
    As for the question “where are the future leaders?” — I guess they’re blogging. And I hope LTP is perceptive enough to pay attention to some of these very insightful voices in Armenian blogosphere.

  24. Reply
    Artashes - 19.11.2007

    Observer,
    Writing “First President” has nothing to do with the love for country or the institution of presidency. I have read all kinds of political texts in English (as, probably, did you too), and never once saw, say, George Washington to be referred to as the First President. The typical American form is “he is our first president”. Sometimes they will capitalize the word “president” but never “first”.
    In general, it is conventional to write “President” when speaking of the institution as such or, sometimes, a specific office-holder without naming him: “Checks and balances between the President and the Congress are enshrined in the Constitution”; “The President will have a press-conference at 5 p.m.”.
    When they mention his name, they don’t capitalize the title – this is a general rule. E.g., “I consider president Clinton to be a better leader than president Bush”.
    Regards,
    Artashes
    P.S. It’s nice to know that you love your country and not the utility facilities. 🙂

  25. Reply
    Observer - 19.11.2007

    Well, I had some vague suspicions about writing conventions for titles, but your comment clarified it all, thank you very much 😉 No, seriously!
    However, I’ll most likely stick to the capitalization in the future as well – because for me, it still remains a matter of respect/self-respect somehow. …and who said I’m normal or should behave as everybody else? I wouldn’t be blogging if I was in the first place :)))

  26. Reply
    Onnik Krikorian - 19.11.2007

    A Russian wire puts the number of those attending at 8-10,000.
    http://groong.usc.edu/news/msg211246.html
    The Armenian Patchwork says “more than 10,000.”
    Anything much over 15,000 sounds like wishful thinking or propaganda.

  27. Reply
    Artashes - 19.11.2007

    Ha-ha-ha, Observer! I have a useful suggestion for you:
    You can increase your love and respect for Armenia (and also your self-respect, it seems) by capitalizing ALL letters of the name of the country and its officials, followed by five (5) exclamation marks. Here how it goes your previous sentence:
    “…Even though I immensely dislike both KOCHARYAN!!!!! and TER-PETROSSIAN!!!!! I love and respect my COUNTRY!!!!!”, etc….. 🙂

  28. Reply
    Observer - 19.11.2007

    Now – that’s what I call mutual understanding, Artashes! :)))))
    however, in that sentence I’d rather capitalize the words: IMMENSELY DISLIKE – because I really immensely dislike both the First President and the Incumbent President. …and I MOST DEFINITELY IMMENSELY DISLIKE also Prime Minister Serge Sargsyan. Like my grandmother was telling me yesterday, “Eee, bala jan, you don’t like anybody, but somebody has to rule the country!?”.

  29. Reply
    Observer - 19.11.2007

    Onnik – I guess you’re right, but as you can see I’ve already written “I estimated more then 15,000 people at first, and apparently the number of participants grew towards the end”, but I don’t insist, because although I moved around and viewed the crowd from different directions, the two stages made the calculations really difficult, so this time I really can’t tell anything remotely trustworthy, because I usually orient by the alignment of the crowd with the statues.

  30. Reply
    Onnik Krikorian - 19.11.2007

    Artur (Observer), I wasn’t referring to you and what you wrote. Anyway, I think it’s pretty impossible to accurately estimate the size of crowds and we can only speak in range. Therefore, I’m quite happy with the range 10-15,000 or more.
    Anyway, the main thing is that we’re more accurate than those writing 20,000 or god forbid, Pashinian’s 85,000. Still, could have been worse. I heard one guy say it was 100,000.
    All of which really makes me think about how accurate reports on demonstrations since the breakup of the FSU have been. One guesses many were inflated and exaggerated before being accepted as fact.

  31. Reply
    Manuk - 19.11.2007

    Interesting post, though somewhat biased I suppose.
    With all this noisy euphoria around LTP that some bloggers demonstrate nowadays, I really miss the explanation of why exactly they think that LTP will make POSITIVE change in Armenia.
    If it was about Raffi or someone else that has never really been to power, I would understand, but LTP is really the father – creator of the current system – there were high-profile killings, widespread corruption and election fraud, banned party and dozens of closed newpapers, there were people like Vano Siradeghian and Budo, Joko and Armen Ter-Sahakyan’s gang under him. It’s ridiculous that LTP is now critisizing Serj or Kocharyan. If they are not better they are absolutely not worse than him.
    He’d better answer the simple question: why and how come an “elected” president was so easily forced to resign in 1998? And how many countries resognised the elections of 1996?
    To summarize, I agree with one of the responses above that we need new generation of politicians and not the old generation, especially those who once f**ked up their own country to such an extent.

  32. Reply
    Observer - 19.11.2007

    Manuk – I can’t agree more.
    As to being biased: I’ve deliberately tried to be biased, and I’ve written about my feelings and doubts on the ground, because that is something you can never read in the mainstream media.
    On the whole – I am as unconvinced and anti-LTP as ever. However, there at the rally, I had strange feeling of sympathy, which disappeared as soon as LTP stepped down from the stage. Let me assure you – that nothing LTP does will ever convince me, that I should vote for him, as to why – I’ve written a number of articles on this blog explaining that, so I prefer not to bore everyone with repeating all that I’ve said previously.

  33. Reply
    Tigran Kocharyan - 19.11.2007

    Observer,I have carefully reviewed what is written here. Only one thing.
    Do you have sense,that this is a big game planned from the same headquarters,and Serge and Levon just playing with the armenian people?

  34. Reply
    Observer - 19.11.2007

    One thing I am especially pissed off and frustrated about the LTP rallies is their attitude towards journalists. I showed my Press card and told them I just want to make 1 close photo and come back, but no way. Same happened with Reporter_arm and Onnik Krikoryan. The letter has written a post about it:
    http://oneworld.blogsome.com/2007/11/18/opposition-goons/#more-1829:

    For anyone out there from Levon Ter Petrosian’s team, take this entry as a complaint about your goons acting as if they own the country. During Ter Petrosian’s rally on Friday, opposition members manhandled a number of journalists including myself, restricted our movement, and preventing us from carrying out our work in what is technically and legally a public area. All of this happened a significant distance away from anyone important and even before Ter Petrosian arrived.
    Moreover, some also refused to recognize official documents identifying journalists as such while they carried on as if they owned the country — a concerning fact given that Ter Petrosian is running for president. Even Serzh Sarkisian and Robert Kocharian’s bodyguards as well as police are better than Ter Petrosian’s goons who now have a misplaced feeling of self-importance. Even Hayk Gevorkian from Ter Petrosian’s media mouthpiece, Haykakan Zhamanak, was prevented from moving freely in an open space that posed no security risk at all.

    Read more at the original post.

  35. Reply
    Onnik Krikorian - 19.11.2007

    Observer, just to say that I greatly value this post precisely because you have been quite negative towards LTP in the past. Therefore, how you describe feeling while listening to him is very telling indeed when it comes to his potential. Anyway, because you can also write such things, I think you have therefore shown you are quite impartial when it matters. Great post.

  36. Reply
    Onnik Krikorian - 19.11.2007

    Incidentally, the same goes for Artmika at Unzipped.

  37. Reply
    Observer - 19.11.2007

    Tigran – I wrote about that around one month ago, I’ll post a link as soon as I find the relevant post – back then I was completely sure, that LTP is brought here by Serge. But now I have changed my mind – and I still don’t understand his real motive for coming back to politics, except hideous arrogance and groundless self-confidence especially I can’t see him making anywhere further then the second round.

  38. Reply
    Manuk - 19.11.2007

    Observer – I think while everyone understands that Serzh Sarkisian is the next president of Armenia, whether or not we like it and irrespective of the way he will achieve it, however most people want to see some counterbalance in this country. And that, I think, but not the sympathy to Ter-Petrosian makes the latter a more important figure nowadays than other oppositionists.
    Nevertheless I suppose bloggers should at least be more committed to things like democracy and progress than others and that is why I don’t like some of them praising LTP and his time. It’s disgraceful to give up principles.
    And, again and again, THE NEW GENERATION OF POLITICIANS will save Armenia, whatever camp they now “represent” -people like Nikol Pashinian for example, seems to be a very progressive and committed guy. I have no idea what did he find or recall in LTP’s times that pushes him to stand by LTP now. Nerses Yeritsian – the young new minister of trade is definitely a great guy. The above mentioned Levon Martirosian – the increasingly influential adviser to Serzh, is also capable of playing a very positive role in Armenian politics now and in the future. Other names don’t come to my mind right now but there definitely exist younger politicians that will do a great job for Armenia, I hope.

  39. Reply

    […] people in front are of course more energetic, and this has influenced my impression of the rally. The Armenian Observer Blog has an interesting comment on this same issue: The crowd was also more inspired – responding to the […]

  40. Reply
    isabella - 20.11.2007

    Observer,
    I would like just to thank you for being honest journalist and making effort to put your own prejudices down. Even though I don’t agree with many points you’ve made and needless to say how much I disagree with many people commenting in this blog, I find it just fine that you provide this ground and kind of open platform for discussion.

  41. Reply
    Observer - 20.11.2007

    Manuk – there is a problem with the young-educated people in Armenia, and the problem is – they have too many opportunities, and most talented, well educated and able individuals prefer not to get into dirty politics. Most of the best Armenian young people I know have already left the country and are prospering abroad, or are working for various international organizations (who pay well and offer opportunities for career growth) or business.
    As a result, politics is left with what it can get. I am sorry, but none of the names you’ve mentioned among “young politicians” inspires me with confidence that they can actually lead the country at this point. Perhaps in 10 years time?
    Meanwhile, we’re having to choose from “bad and worse” 🙁

  42. Reply
    kronstadt - 20.11.2007

    ah… why don’t we nominate Observer as a presidential candidate? 😉 I mean he seems to be more intellectually equipped in terms of politics, critical thinking, democratology and more aware of capitalism’s influence on democratic practices then all of the “standup politicians” put together.
    eh? how about that? 😉 We’ll call it “The United Bloggers’ Party” and promise to establish “The Dictatorship of the Blogetariat”

  43. Reply
    Observer - 20.11.2007

    one problem though: in my ideal political system there is no room for the institute of presidency – so nominating me as a candidate would be… well, pointless :)))))

  44. Reply
    Onnik Krikorian - 21.11.2007

    He’s also too young. You need to be 35, I think.

  45. Reply
    Onnik Krikorian - 21.11.2007

    Or at least 35, sorry.

  46. Reply
    kronstadt - 21.11.2007

    oh, yeah… forgot about the 35 mark… but hey, who in this day and age cares about the constitution? Constitution these days is treated as no more as than a presidential decree or an internal memo.
    But if, as Observer has politely refused from nomination, the question that is not forming the center of bloging debates is how to achieve a substantial political change?
    On one hand many people loose their faith in the current political system and the institution of presidency. On the other hand we are being constantly warned against “radical revolutions” and agaist stepping outside of the boundaries of “normal political practice”, the logic being that such process would destabilise the political atmosphere and serve as a license for Azeri attack. And so we’re stuck – we’re stuck on an irreversible path to gradual neo-liberalist evolution and the “Dictatorship of Normalism”.
    So far most blogs talk about what already is. *But what will be the source(s) of change??? If not the mode of production organised in the name of profit and profiteering, and the restrictive political structures that result from the need to protect the business interests of that mode of production and distribution, then What exactly will form the progressive core of Armenian society?* I believe this to be an important question to be discussed while we are at the crossroads of country’s future, for ultimately it is a question of political imagination and political self-determination.
    No?

  47. Reply
    AH - 21.11.2007

    One more thing that I will never forgive the LTP/Vano clan for: They helped build up the euphoria (many examples cited above of people devoted to freedom, Karabakh, yearning to be old enough to vote, etc etc) and then they trampled on this collective offer from the Armenian nation, personally benefiting from others’ sacrifice.
    Result? Jaded, shattered local Armenians, rejected and cynical Diasporans. They were collectively (and most sinister of all, deliberately encouraged to be) led down a path to turn their backs on Armenia.
    It is for this most of all that I cannot have any faith in the reincarnated LTP.

  48. Reply

    […] to read. Despite his sometimes open dislike of the first president, when it counts, he can actually be quite neutral and objective when it […]

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    […] 19 February vote. During his second public rally in November, for example, The Armenian Observer described the experience perfectly. The crowd was also more inspired – responding to the speech very enthusiastically, at least in the […]

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