Serj Tankian's Letter to The President of Armenia

Armenian President Serzh Sarkissian and Armenian-American singer-songwriter Serj Tankian at a meeting, undated | Source:
Armenian President Serzh Sarkissian and Armenian-American singer-songwriter Serj Tankian at a meeting, undated | Source:

Grammy-winning singer/song writer Serj Tankian has sent an open letter to Serzh Sarkissian, expressing doubts that the incumbent president has indeed won in February 18th Presidential elections and calling for the de facto Armenian leader to institute genuine rule of law in the country, punish those, who stole the vote from the people, dissolve the parliament, ensure that genuinely free and fair elections are held and that the government is truly representational. Find the full letter below.
Dear Mr. President,
Congratulations on your victory.
Victory means getting the most votes, of course, in a democracy.
Based on the overwhelming reported fraud from many NGOs, irrespective of the OSCE report, it seems like it would be scientifically impossible for even you, Mr. President, to know whether you actually won the majority of votes.
That’s quite funny isn’t it? That you, the President of Armenia are not really sure, deep inside, whether you are the true chosen leader of your people or not.
That would really bother me personally. If I wanted to lead my people, I would really want them to make that decision for themselves, because I respect my people and that is their decision to make. Otherwise, I would take over Armenia and call myself the Governor General of Armenia or Dictator du jour or whatever moniker I felt like sporting that day. Maybe your party is out of control and the oligarchs are running out of caviar or something and they want to make sure that the flow of the good times doesn’t stop.
Whatever the case, it is time for change.
Whether you’ve won fairly or not, somehow you are now President, again.
What does that mean to you?
Yes, Artsakh is important to us all and we have to struggle together for our brothers there.
But what I mean is how are you going to progress the cause of Armenians, in Armenia and around the world?
How are you going to help pull the country out of its economic, social, and political dysfunction and turmoil?
Obama at least offers hope, even when he lets us down.
Years ago, I started a campaign asking President Obama to do the right thing and stick by his promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
You too took an oath, to the constitution of Armenia, to protect the country from enemies foreign and domestic. Those who steal elections from my people are domestic enemies that need to be punished.
It should be your duty to enforce that, even if some think it hypocritical. You should also consider dissolving Parliament and being the first Armenian reformist President who goes out of his way to make sure that future elections are fair and representational.
Serzh, everyone who knows me knows that I can’t stand injustice. And like most diasporan Armenians, I have always been reluctant to criticize your government directly and publicly. But the avalanche of people suffering under your rule due to corruption and injustice is tipping the scale for us all.
You need to know that.
Armenia is desperate for the rule of law more than anything else. And no one can be above the law. You can make that happen, now, by example and presidential decree.
Unite us Serzh. Inspire us.
Please take this challenge.
Thank you for your time.
Serj Tankian

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. Yes, Serj, but we are not sure Raffi has won too. I would gladly revote.
    Also, please come and vote in Armenia’s elections next time around. That would be a better contribution to democracy and justice.
    Finally, thanks for your art and patriotism. Peace,
    A citizen of Rupublic of Armenia

    1. Just a little reminder: Citizens of Republic of Armenia who were abroad on the election day were not able to vote. Why?

      1. Why? Because of a very bad law.

  2. Letter of the President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan in Response to Serj Tankian
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    Dear Serj,
    My younger grandson is also our namesake. He is too young to know that he was born to descend a proud nation, small, overburdened with issues but still a citizen of a victorious and forward-looking country. He still has a lot to learn. Serj, you and me, all of us, shall report to him and his generation on what we have done, on what kind of a new homeland under Holy Mountain we convey them. Can you imagine questioning eyes of those to whom we shall report? You and me, Serj, all of us. Those eyes are childish and playful but tomorrow they are going to be serious and investigating.
    What shall I tell them, Serj? Shall I tell them that I promised my people Secure Armenia, that I organized the best elections (even if with shortcomings, which, nevertheless, could not have had any significant impact on the outcome of the vote) in the 21-year long history of our country, and I could not have been able to consolidate all of our people and show them the path to the future? Shall I tell them that I took it serious and did even discuss “ultimate truths” stemming from thin air that has no relation to the state and statehood whatsoever? That is a mine, Serj, a mine threatening our coming several decades that will lead us to inevitable self-destruction. Our duty is to throw away mines that undermine our path towards development. The agenda of establishing law and order cannot be implemented by illegal means. Such an agenda will come to its end swiftly through similarly illegal ways. I think little Serzh is going to be fan of your music, and what are we going to tell him when he asks us:
    “Was the philosophy of displaced mines the bombing of all homes and villages?”
    This is a State, Serj. We have dreamt about it extremely long. This State is yours and mine; it is the State of all of us. It is the State of little Serzh and of wonderful children of the Hovannisian family. It is the State of all our children and grandchildren. We have a paradise homeland, and our duty is to build a strong State. We have to build it together, Serj. The mines planted today will be threatening our children tomorrow, they will become Bellum omnium contra omnes, or the “the war of all against all”. And growing child will ask you:
    “Where do you expect us to go when the bombs fall, Serj?”
    What is our response going to be to them? Is it going to be that years ago we have been romantic and did not understand it? Is that our response? They will not believe us, Serj. They will read this letter and conclude most certainly:
    “You saw it all when you looked forward, why did you go there?”
    That is not our path. We are comrades on the matter of the path we embark upon. Indeed, it is time for change. Nobody can be above the law. Falsification and hypocrisy, impudence and hostility will destroy drop by drop and steadily our ability to cry wholeheartedly: “Freedom, we are free”. We need to do that in order to call upon all: “Back To the River Aras!” We need to do that, Serj, in order to embolden ourselves to look into the eyes and respond to the questions of little Serzh and of their generation.
    For that exact matter I do need your assistance, and assistance of all of us be they from Glendale or Stepanakert, from Melbourne or Moscow. I believe in our collective victory.
    And in conclusion I will address your question. You asked me if I was really sure, deep inside, whether I was the true chosen leader of our people or not. I respond to it that I have always been sure in whatever I have done be that battle command or organization of elections. One needs to feel Armenia, Serj, and it is not possible to feel it siting in an expensive office in downtown Yerevan, even if one sits there for too long. Armenia can be felt standing on the rocky land of a hamlet that struggles to continue its eternal path. Armenia can be felt of the green of flowers planted at a cemetery of our freedom fighters. Armenia spoke up, Serj, believe me.
    That is all I wanted to tell you.
    Please convey my best regards to your father, and let the proud message of the spring stork prevent us from choosing a wrong path.

  3. Serj for president

  4. Reblogged this on Me, myself and life and commented:
    Incredible, thank you Serj for simply stating the truth.

  5. Serj Tankian to Armenian President: “Let me note you didn’t clearly answer my questions”

    Yerevan/Mediamax/. The correspondence between rock musician, System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan is going on.

    It should be recalled that Serj Tankian sent a letter to the Armenian president yesterday.
    Yesterday, the Armenian President sent a response.
    Today, Serzh Tankian sent a new letter which was sent to Mediamax by his manager George Tonikyan:
    “Dear Mr. President,
    I am honored that you have responded to my letter.
    I actually wasn’t expecting a response, given the harsh criticism I conveyed.
    The fact that you have done so is encouraging.
    But with respect, you have not answered any of my questions nor addressed any of the issues I brought up in my letter directly.
    I think you have done a great job at securing Armenia’s bordersand dealing with the extremely sensitive and difficult situation presented by the realities after the Karabakh war.
    If you remember, I told you that in person and commended your efforts in that regard.
    That said, security cannot be the scapegoat to diffuse attention from the inequities and injustices in our homeland.
    Republicans in the U.S. have done that for too many elections and no one seems to buy it anymore.
    I, too, feel responsible to future generations for what we leave behind.
    That is the reason for my speaking out, getting involved with mining and environmental abuse in Armenia (Teghut) and encouraging further farm subsidies to render our nation more self sufficient.
    Citizens across Armenia are protesting the outcome of the elections and the injustice inherent in the political establishment. Please listen to their complaints.
    Listen to the striking students and don’t let the schools or police shut out their voices from our democracy. They are the future of Armenia after all.
    Corruption, injustice, emigration, lawlessness and falsified elections. These ills have emptied our country of its citizens more than mines and bombs.
    What are you going to do about them?
    Are you going to reform the system?
    Dear Mr. President, please institute the rule of law once and for all so that people feel respected in the eyes of the law and the courts. The constitution and the laws of Armenia are fine. It is their execution that is lacking. We are all tired of hearing about investors turned away, robbed of their investments in Armenia, political pressure used for personal gain, media manipulation and consolidation for political means, injustice in the courts, and on and on.
    Most people feel that it will take a generational change to alter the political culture in Armenia, to rid ourselves of the overt corruption and abuse.
    You can make that happen now!
    In your letter you have recognized the need for that change and seem to suggest that you are willing to take substantive steps in that regard so that we don’t have to wait another 20 years for us to arrive to true freedom.
    For that, your people will be eternally grateful Serzh.
    An equitable nation is a strong nation, where people are not only proud of their history, but also proud of their present.
    I agree that we should all work together toward a better future for Armenia.
    I appreciate the warm wishes to my father. I too, send my regards and love to your family and hope to meet your grandson Serj sometime.
    Serj Tankian”.
    Via MediaMax

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