Ter-Petrossian Kills Armenian National Congress for A New Beginning

Former President Levon Ter-Petrossian gives an interview to Khristine Khanumian, journalist of "Chorrord Inqnishkhanutyun" newspaper
Former President Levon Ter-Petrossian gives an interview to Khristine Khanumian, journalist of “Chorrord Inqnishkhanutyun” newspaper

Politics just became interesting again in Armenia: Former President Levon Ter-Petrossian effectively called an end to the five-year struggle by his opposition bloc Armenian National Congress (HAK), which was created in the aftermath of disputed presidential elections in 2008.

Ter-Petrossian, the cold-blooded historian and one of the greatest politicians Armenia has ever had, was being highly pragmatic in his  interview with the pro-opposition daily “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” when he registered a change of political realities and a need to dismantle the alliance, which has already been falling apart with several political parties and activists breaking away from HAK, which was initially created as a bloc of 18 political parties.
Deep divisions have been evident in HAK for over a year as Ter-Petrossian announced a need for dialogue with the authorities last summer followed by a shift to cooperation with megarich businessman Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia party and ARF-Dashnaktsutyun.
Ter-Petrossian went one step further and announced the creation of a Liberal – Socialist party. The opposition leader did imply, that this might lead to further splits from HAK. He said that the opposition bloc had served its purpuse “brilliantly”, but it cannot continue to exist with its current structure and composition “as a wide alliance of various political forces and non-partisan activists.”
“Serious institutional change is needed to pursue our struggle successfully to its victorious end,” Ter-Petrossian added, which he defined by using familiar HAK language and teminology as “dismantling the kleptocracy and restoring constitutional order.”
“I will save no effort to turn the party into one of the most influential political forces in our country,” added Ter-Petrosian. “And if I am entrusted with leading, even with a symbolic status, the newly created party I will consider that a great honor and will perform my duties with utmost responsibility.”
PS: Incumbent President Serzh Sarkissian has reacted angrily to Ter-Petrossian’s interview. Sarkissian has dedicated a full 1-hour speech to the former president, criticizing his former boss and saying Ter-Petrossian is no longer loved by the people, nor he is influential in politics and should just leave. I wonder, why waste so much effort on Ter-Petrossian if Sarkissian really thinks the former president is no longer influential? Just a thought…

Artur Papyan

Journalist, blogger, digital security and media consultant


  1. I think his words were meant for both Levon and Robert. Levon Ter-Petrosyan is a history, I don’t thik he’ll ever get more than 5% of votes. Robert Qocharyan is also a history, nevertheless, he may have ambissions to return, which will make Armenia look like Russia. But in Russia’s case everyone see the progress with Putin who currently enjoys around 60% of votes. In Armenian case – everyone see the regress, so I don’t know what makes Robert think he deserves the presidency for the 3rd time.

  2. He frames the situation well, it is a surprise that HAK lasted this long — it is like herding cats and two things were fundamental, anger after March 1 and LTP’s leadership. March 1 is slowly being forgotten and people are starting to question LTP’s decisions as well.
    I don’t know about becoming a Russian province, Armenia is probably already one since the infrastructure belongs to Russian companies.

  3. Ter-Petrossian says all the correct things. His decision to transfer HAK into a proper party, even if that means incorporating the remnants of HAK back into HHSH or vice verca, should only be welcomed.
    What got me surprised is Serzh Sarkissian’s angry response, when he should instead be only happy. What the hell was that about? What’s the point?

    1. Yes, it was a little surprising — essentially telling LTP to “s-d qashi”.

  4. “Liberal-Socialist party” that’s an ideological oxymoron (a contradiction). Perhaps he means *Libertarian-Socialist* or Social-Democracy or Democratic-Socialism, or perhaps he needs to revise his knowledge of political ideologies.
    It’s a pity to see the most brilliant politician and leader in Armenia’s recent history being confronted with an impasse and being politically lost like this. All because of once making a series of grave and unforgivable blunders in 1996 (falsified elections) and 1998 (having no guts to hold the nation’s frontier with the Artsakh issue,and chickening out). Politics is an unforgiving game.There are no second chances here.
    Good or bad, Rob’s and Serj’s administrations did an immense and, some in 1998 would argue – impossible, job: now Azeri Big-Oil boom is already coming to its end,and with billions injected into their army, they are still nowhere near the possibility of fulfilling their dreams of resolving the issue militarily.
    Armenian society definitely needs those political leaders (men and women) who can inspire a new vision for our people with out-of-the-box ideas. So far I have seen these come not from LTP, but from Sardarapat activists and from good old Hayrikayan, who, although a laughing stock, reminds us that the 19th century ideas of Nalbandyan and pre-Dashnak ideologues and the Great PAYQAR (for freedom, for social justice etc) is, and must be brought back as. an ongoing project.
    Another personage with interesting left-leaning (although not yet fully matured ideas) is Andrias Ghukasyan – although a bit naive for now – he has many battles ahead of him before he can be taken seriously by the broader masses.

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