Armenia’s past and incumbent presidents – Levon Ter-Petrossian, Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sargsian, couldn’t force themselves to come together and celebrate the country’s Independence day on September 21th.
September 22 marks another anniversary. 14 years ago today Armenia turned back from the path of self-rule and democratization as a result of flawed Presidential elections in 1996. Levon Ter-Petrossian relied on use of force against opposition protesters to hold his grip on power.
The three of them had much better relations back then.
Robert Kocharian was the tame President of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, who would use every occasion to congratulate and speak highly of Ter-Petrossian.
Serzh Sargsian was the Minister of Inerior and National Security, one of the key officials who helped Ter-Petrossian fabricate his victory over main opposition candidate Vazgen Manukyan and keep it too, relying on police and security service forces. Similar tactics was used by Sargsian and Kocharian to claim victory in 2008 presidential elections and break-up the rally of Ter-Petrossian supporters during the March 1 violence in the streets of capital Yerevan.
Ter-Petrossian and Robert Kocharian can’t stand each other and react fiercely to each others critical public statements since 1998, when Kocharian ousted incumbent Ter-Petrossian and became president.
In recent months there are also speculations about worsening relations between long time allies – Serzh Sargsian and Robert Kocharian.
One things they have in common, however, is their determination to take the power away from the people of Armenia as much as possible. That’s where they have been and will remain a ‘dream team’ and that’s what the biggest tragedy of this country is.
PS: Check out this Washington Post editorial which appeared in the wake of the fraudulent presidential election that was held in Armenia 14 years ago today and proved fatal for the country’s post-Soviet history.