Decision 2013: ARF, ANC slam Feb. 18 election, stop short of explicitly supporting Hovannisian

Decision 2013: ARF, ANC slam Feb. 18 election, stop short of explicitly supporting Hovannisian

Two major opposition forces that did not participate in this year’s presidential election issued critical statements on their course and results, but stopped short of explicitly declaring their support for opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian, who is challenging the official outcome giving incumbent President Serzh Sargsyan a first-round victory.

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) said that “the citizens of Armenia proved on February 18 that their patience has limits.”

“The outburst of the people was the response to the current state of affairs in the country. It was a response to the government’s self-satisfied behavior pretending that they have the support of the absolute majority of the society. It became apparent that the majority of the Armenian people do not accept the current system,” stressed Dashnaktsutyun.

At the same time, the traditional Armenian political parties with links in the Diaspora warned that the post-election situation and possible developments require “enormous responsibility and complex solutions from the current government, the main challenging candidate, the opposition forces and active part of society.”

“Dashnaktsutyun is next to the people and is for finding solutions through combined efforts,” the party concluded.

Another opposition group, Armenian National Congress (ANC), which did not contest the latest presidential election, also slammed President Sargsyan and his “regime” for what it described as a fraudulent election. It said that the current authorities will never give up the practice of using falsifications to rig elections until it is confronted by “the united will of the people” and until the international community gives an “adequate” evaluation to this fraud.

In its statement the ANC also reminds of similar post-election claims of its candidate, ex-president Levon Ter-Petrosyan, five years ago and the crackdown of the opposition in the wake of nonstop protests in February 2008.

Addressing his supporters in Yerevan’s Liberty Square last night Heritage Party leader Hovannisian, who declared himself to be the rightful winner and elected president, made it clear that if given a chance to form a government he would also cooperate with the broad-based opposition, including both the ARF and ANC.