Editorial: Ter-Petrosyan’s carpe diem should have included Hovannisian

The day was seized by Levon Ter-Petrosyan, but it belonged to Raffi Hovannisian.

When Ter-Petrosyan entered Liberty Square yesterday, he walked through a door cracked open because Hovannisian had the audacity to sit night and day on a park bench there.


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20.03.2011 20:03
There are few terrible things that could happen to Armenia, one of them would be (as the previous post suggested) to have a replica of Saakashvili as president of Armenia. Awful wish!
20.03.2011 07:21
What Armenia needs today is a Saakashvili. A western educated, charismatic patriot. Forget Levon and all his cronies. The past was bad enough. Armenian people have short memories I guess. Levon needs to go back to matenadaran and do his Assyrian translations. He's only good for that.
20.03.2011 04:31
It's so obvious Levon can't represent Armenia's entire opposition. After what happened Raffi needs no hunger strike. What he needs is to return to his parliament job and continue his activities there to secure a reelection a year from now. I think few people will give their vote to Levon after his behavior in the past 3 years, more over some of people who refuse to back Levon will give their vote to Serzh Sargsian instead. Sargsian has proved that he can be a trusted leader and he is no less educated and intelligent than any of those who speak several dead languages but can't find a common language with their own people .
20.03.2011 00:18
To KZG, Funny, but I thought I used the term "imperial" and not "imperialism" to describe LTP's manner and motivation. Maybe I should have used "imperialist" instead?
19.03.2011 23:09
Raffi should have never joined the TerPetrosyan camp in the first place. He needed to keep his party separate, or align himself with the Dashnags. Then, we would truly have an opposition worth bragging about.
19.03.2011 13:39
Not a big fan of anyone, but Rahageets should take the time to learn what 'imperialism' is before throwing the terms around.
19.03.2011 09:23
Raffi K.H is probably best suited to be at the head of an Armenian advocacy group in Washington D.C., or in Brussels. Most of what he writes is about justice for the Armenian genocide. I don't think he is really that interested in domestic Armenian politics, civil/human rights, or formulating economic, social, educational policy
19.03.2011 05:02
In my initial post I critiqued Hughes' unnecessary and unprofessional use of pejorative language. Thanks for editing that part out. To their credit, they changed the original word 'minions' to 'compatriots.' So, bravo. If it was a mistranslation or something similar, that's fine. But in the future a more conscientious attention to language would be appreciated. ArmeniaNow is supposed to be above the tabloid-esque character assassinating that passes as journalism in Armenian, not a part of it. Per the person that recommended that an influx of Diaspora Armenians will 'cure the disease of totalitarianism,' such a baseless statement could not be further off the mark. Firstly it presupposes that Diaspora Armenian organizations are somehow democratic- they are anything but. Secondly, Diaspora Armenians (although this is changing, thanks in part to a generation of political science majors and groups like Depi Hayk) are largely unaware of what is actually going on. Finally, none of these people has any clue how to actually implement state-building policies. Tell me, what has Raffi every said with respect to real political issues? Nothing beyond abstract calls for 'freedom,' 'democracy,' and the like. These are all fine and good, but what are his thoughts on the tax code? How do you address massive unemployment. No wonder the average Armenian citizen's opinion of Raffi (in my very unscientific sampling of taxi drivers, villagers, etc) is merely, "De inke lav dgha a, payts..." Say what you will about Levon, but he actually implemented policies (chief among them agricultural reform) that helped the people, not the oligarchs.
19.03.2011 04:39
To Bob, Yes, an essential component for change in Armenia, an I'm talking deep, systematic change, is for a diaspora Armenians to move here and join forces with the domestic opposition to form a critical mass on which reforms and progress can be built. The HAK is just not a force for such change but rather an instrument for the imperial ambitions of LTP and his clique. To not even recognize the presence of Raffi when they entered Opera Square is revealing in many ways. Then again, Heritage needs to work with those NGO's and other social units out there that really have dealings with people on the street. I amazes me that HAK can so callously divert all that human energy down a dead-end path of wait and see.
18.03.2011 21:53
Who cares if LTP or Raffi have a quible between themselves or not. Today, in Armenia, the political arena is such that the more contentiousness the better - makes for debate and argument. Competition is good for the both of them. Sure they are both "politicians". The question is which is the democrat?
18.03.2011 21:25
Well, the problem is that political figures together with the rest of the 'landscape' - general political process, political culture, political parties etc. - is on a very primitive level - result of Armenia being a very young country with a short recent history of statehood and long history of being a small part of another generally undemocratic and uncivilized state. The disease can be observed in various forms and shades in other post-Soviet countries (except Baltic republics which never really belonged to 'Eastern block'). I've been saying this and I repeat again - for a country like Armenia the only real chance to cure this disease is an influx of Diaspora (mainly US and West European) Armenians who can take an active part in nation-building. Raffi Hovanissian in a way is the ONLY such person - a drop in the sea. His example is very telling to many in Diaspora who consider moving to Armenia - and now spurned by the opposition and the government, sitting on a public bench with no meal in days, this image is not particularly appealing...
18.03.2011 21:17
John - Do you have any new news to cover or a new subject to write about? I can offer some suggestions for you. But get this: there will not be another President LTP. In the US you had the Bush dynasty, Bush I and his son Bush II for two terms. You had Clinton twice and the other Clinton (wife), now secretary of the-failed-state-department. Way before that, you had the royal house of Kennedy's all over the government. Unlike the US, the government in Armenia is not royal house to be inherited by family members.
18.03.2011 20:39
Am I the only one who can read between the lines and see that, since "retiring", the first president has voluntarily been a dummy-opposition that actually works for the Russian overlords? Raffi is the only voice in Armenia that speaks for the everyday people of Armenia and Artsakh, and he has been the only one for years.
18.03.2011 13:32
es ankexcoren shat kuzei havatal, vor ayn inch-vor texi unecav da joxovrdi haxtanak er kam naxagahi bayrackam verabermunq.indz tvum e aveli shat da levon ter petrosyani ev serj sarqsyani michev inch-vor pymanavorvacutyan ardyunq er.erkusn el drsi ev joxovrdi achqin toz pchecin... vorpes irakan joxovrdi arajnord ayjm tesnum em raffi hovhanisyanin
18.03.2011 09:56
Levon Ter-Petrosyan is a ego-king.He will never step on his ego and that means that he'll never be a true politician. I am sure that He and non of his corrupted and self centered family members would never stay hungry, not even for 1 hour for the people. LTP's every member is just hungry for old good days. And his ego needs a victory. This opposition is not about people, it's about Levon Ter-Petrosyan's SELF.
18.03.2011 08:48
@arevelk, well, maybe you were not borne yet or your amnesia is over now :-) at least R.H did fight for his right to be an Armenian citizen being force to be borne in Diaspora because of Armenian Genocide! Every human been has the right to choose his homeland and live there free , as R.H did fight for this very human right!
18.03.2011 08:35
I haven't heard Raffi K.H. over the last 20 years campaign against the abuse of power by the rich and the well connected and the violation of civil rights of poorer citizens of Armenia.
18.03.2011 06:46
Heritage will lose its seats in parliament in the next election. It will be replaced by Levon. It seems government also wants that.
18.03.2011 04:49
LTP and HAK officially slighted Hovannisian. It was petty and completely uncalled for. This trait of LTP, the man and politician, is quite troubling and points to his "need to control" and "be in control". I will use LTP as a "tool for change" (like he suggested at a previous rally) but that's the extent of my support for him.
18.03.2011 04:39
LTP, Hovannisian and other "opposition" politicians are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to real reform and change in Armenia. Without an active citizenry, as posited by Ralph Nader and others, regime change is no guarantor of democratic rule or the rule of law. These politicians can only serve to open a window of opportunity for civic action and class consciousness to take hold. In this, I beieve that Hovannisian stands head and shoulders above the top-down approach to politics as demonstrated by LTP and the majority in HAK.
18.03.2011 03:51
All these leaders have a big ego -granted. But shouldn't be justice and democracy above everything? Heritage people were always in the streets fighting with people for their rights - taxi drivers, and for prisoners, and other injustices when LTP people were not. LTP people were at other places and that is good because one has to show opposition at all fronts and so does opposition need solidarity and support from all. I saw how LTP enters these rallies - imperially and with fanfare. How about taking the streets with the people????
18.03.2011 03:27
Why anyone would support a populist and the godfather of corruption in Armenia for the presidency just amazes me!
18.03.2011 03:01
This editorial misses the mark. where was Raffi three years ago? And where has Raffi been? Hughes tries to argue that Levon hijacked Raffi's day, when in reality Raffi is hijacking a movement started by Levon. Raffi didn't join the movement three years ago because he's too interested in making sure Raffi's positioned for a power grab.
18.03.2011 02:56
John, spot on as always. LTP showed his true face by not even saying "barev" to Raffi - shame on LTP for that.
18.03.2011 02:49
Levon Ter Petrosyan was the one who introduced falsification of election to the new borne Armenian Sate. Therefore Rafi Hovanissian should be proud, because R.H did stay clean , while being ignored by Levon Ter Petrosyan - Thank you to Levon Ter Petrosyan and his clan!
18.03.2011 02:41
. 1- Well, Ter-Petrosyan likes one man show- this would be his own show 2. Ter-Petrosyan is not a politician but an idealist who would prefer act like as a dictator, in order to be able to force people and society to accept is ideas and way of thinking. 3- Ter-Petrosyan - himself an Diaspora Armenian from Syria -would be the first to force Armenian Diaspora and his opponents– including R. Hovanessian – out of Armenia. All these doesn’t make the ruling regime (mostly charlatans) look much better! Still Rafi Hovanesian shows that indeed there are healthy political forces in the country – simply from these healthy forces (third forces) people like Ter-Petrosyan are afraid as the ruling regime it selves!
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