The Heritage Party
31 Moscovian Street
Yerevan, Armenia
Tel.: (+374 - 10) 53.69.13
Fax: (+374 - 10) 53.26.97
Email: [email protected]; [email protected]

November 28, 2011

The Heritage Party Board's Response To President Serzh Sargsyan

Yerevan--We express bewilderment over the November 26 response of
incumbent Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan to Raffi Hovannisian's
official letter dated November 21 and assess the response as a
partisan and unstatesmanlike incursion against Hovannisian the
individual and first foreign minister of the Republic of Armenia,
against `Heritage' and the entire opposition, and most notably upon
the Armenian public and its average citizen.

If in its statement of November 25 the Republican Party asserted that
`it is necessary to refrain from attempts at rendering absolute the
authorities' political commitments, as they have reasonable limits,'
then through his November 26 response the chairman of that party and
acting president Serzh Sargsyan revealed these limits. According to
them, the conduct of free, fair, and competitive elections or any
demand or proposal addressing their realization breaches the
`allowable limits' and so can be evaluated as a blackening,
disparaging, venomous act pursued with malicious motivation.

While voicing his appraisal the president had to acknowledge at least
that Raffi Hovannisian's letter was a compendium of 15 concrete
proposals and not a statement at all, and that his priority
suggestions sought to bring to actual fruition the commitment of
holding free and fair elections as declared by the authorities. It is
this civil intention which Serzh Sargsyan either has not comprehended
or purposefully distorts.

This kind of demeanor and label-slinging is not compatible with the
status of leader of the nation. Such a response demonstrates that the
Armenian authorities do not forswear, and hence are not going to
refrain from, the vicious practices of exploiting for partisan gain
administrative and other public resources, establishing party
monopolies over public and state capabilities, imposing unequal
conditions for pre-electoral and electoral competition, coercing civil
servants and public officials, encouraging fraud of the election
process through the majoritarian system, manipulating voters' lists
especially with reference to absentees, and engaging the army and
church in politics.

It is precisely by these invidious methods that succeeding
administrations have held elections over the past 16 years; they are
the ones who have blackened and disparaged the country's reputation
and led it into national upheaval and bloodshed. We are deeply
concerned that the president views the 2008 presidential elections in
a positive light and claims that they largely corresponded with
international standards. This implies that we might be headed for
another March 1.

The incumbent president also must realize that such political
rhetoric, accompanied by `elections' conducted in the aforementioned
manner, opens the shortest way to renewed intra-societal intolerance.
The imperative for sobriety, therefore, relates to everyone--and first
and foremost to the president.

If Serzh Sargsyan has committed a mistake or omission or has deviated
from presidential style and substance--this might happen from time to
time--he still can correct his error and instead of launching absurd
and meaningless attacks confess the veracity of the vast majority of
Raffi Hovannisian's agenda items. In letter and spirit he must take
immediate measures to resolve these outstanding problems, to make the
elections acceptable for all stakeholders, and to secure at long last
de jure electoral results in the Republic of Armenia.

Heritage Party Board