The Other “Inauguration”: Hovannisian declares no “sham leaders”

The Other “Inauguration”: Hovannisian declares no “sham leaders”


While the official winner of the February 18 ballot was swearing-in with his hand on the ancient Gospel and the Constitution of Armenia, the official runner-up, leader of the post-election stand-off held the “inauguration of a new Armenia” in the presence of thousands of people gathered at Liberty Square and led his supporters to the presidential residence.

At around noon some ten thousand people were out in the center of Yerevan to take part in Heritage party leader Raffi Hovannisian’s “rally of victory”.

Hovannisian stated that although the Gospel of the Catholicos’s mother (the 7th century ancient gospel was given its name in memory of His Holiness Vazgen I’s mother) was not there, neither were “30 silver coins, nor fake speeches, but there is the Armenian nation”. He called upon people to raise the copies of constitution they had with them and took his oath.

“I declare that I do not recognize sham leaders, I will not obey wrongful orders, I am authorized with my right, protected by the Constitution, I am not for sale, I am not afraid. We, citizens of the Fourth Republic of Armenia, swear by our ancestors’ dream, our children’s future, our Constitution, that we will fight with love, will not get weary, will encourage each other and we will win,” he said solemnly adding that together with the citizens of Armenia “we will build a true homeland, from where our brothers and sisters do not run away, but where everybody returns, where there are rights, jobs, there is future, an elected president, justice, happy nation, and that day is not far away.”

After the oath Hovannisian announced that they would stay at Liberty Square till 6 p.m., enjoy folk songs and dances, after which they will go to the presidential residence. The plan changed, however, when the crowd demanded to “go for drastic steps, as they had been waiting for this day”.

Hovannisian and his supporters started marching towards 26 Baghramyan Ave. (presidential residence) along Northern and Mashtots avenues, then Saryan-Proshyan streets, but on Proshyan they came across a fence of policemen blocking their way.

“Whose way are you blocking? True Armenia is in front of you. Baghramyan 26 is afraid because of its lawlessness, but people are not afraid of anything,” Hovannisian told the police.

An agreement was reached between the police and Hovannisian, after which the peaceful march returned to Liberty Square.