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Vahan Hovhannisyan, ARF-Dashnaktsutyun Candidate © Onnik Krikorian / Oneworld Multimedia 2008
ARF-Dashnaktsutyun candidate for the post of Armenian president, having gathered 6% of the votes in the Presidential elections marred by violence, electoral fraud and irregularities in the ballot counting process which might well have resulted in a serious decrease of the actual number of the candidate’s votes, has announced about his resignation from the position of the National Assembly deputy speaker. Although the ARFP supreme body has not made assessment yet, Vahan Hovhannisyan says he has made a personal decision about resigning:
“I tried to persuade our citizens that the victory is possible. I failed to do it. In the whole course of the pre-election struggle there was an atmosphere of hatred and intolerance, intimidation and threats. It could not but influence the very Election Day,” the statement says.
“I make an appeal for us to be quiet and restrained. Those that today have been trying to go by the way of rebellion, should remember and realize their crimes and the disaster they have brought over our people, roughly faking the presidential elections in 1996, unbridling a self-improving machine of electoral violations that nobody has managed to stop to date. However, it is not going to be like that forever. And I urge all of you to get prepared for our victory in a self-confident way,” that’s how Vahan Hovhannisyan has addressed the people.
It is still hard to judge what are the political implications of this move. Does Vahan Hovhannisyan’s resignation mean he is taking ARF-Dashnaktsutyun out of the dirty pollitical battle between Levon and Serzh, or does it mean he’s thus sending a signal to the opposition, that despite his call to be restrained, Dashnaktsutyun is implicitly supporting the opposition claims of vote irregularities? Uzogh has posted the full text of Vahan Hovhannisyan’s announcement, and is also hosting a discussion on the issue.