Heritage Council Decides on Elections: The Party Will Run Alone

PRESS RELEASE
The Heritage Party
31 Moscovian Street
Yerevan, Armenia
Tel.: (+374 – 10) 53.69.13, 53.26.97
Fax: (+374 – 10) 53.26.97
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March 2, 2007

HERITAGE COUNCIL DECIDES ON ELECTIONS:
THE PARTY WILL RUN ALONE

Yerevan–The Heritage Party today convened a special meeting of its
governing Council at the Armenia Marriott Hotel. The question of the day was
one: Should the party participate in the parliamentary elections scheduled
for May 12?

Introductory remarks were delivered by Heritage board member Vardan
Khachatrian. "Heritage has long favored an inclusive and encompassing
alliance for the coming elections and, throughout the deliberations with
opposition colleagues, it remained true to its aim until the end. It is to
our chagrin, but not our fault, that the opposition could not join forces.
We currently stand at a critical juncture and, acknowledging our duties
before the generations yet to come, we have gathered today to decide whether
or not to run in the elections," he said.

This day, March 2, 2007, was not only a critical juncture but a sign and
symbol as well. The national flag of the newly independent Armenia had been
raised in front of the United Nations building exactly fifteen years ago; it
was Raffi K. Hovannisian, Armenia’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs, who
had the honor of performing that ceremony. March 2 also marks the 50th
wedding anniversary of Hovannisian’s parents, Richard and Vartiter.

The session, attended also by journalists and members of the public, was
then formally opened with the singing of Armenia’s national anthem, "Mer
Hairenik."

Raffi Hovannisian, founder of the Heritage Party, was next invited to take
the floor. In a powerful keynote address, he declared: "The matter that is
at hand for us today and for tomorrow is not only the remembrance of our
past heritage, but also a living legacy for the unification of the nation
and thus the building of a Homeland that is a force to be reckoned
with–both in the region and the world entire. The Armenian tricolor that
waves before the United Nations is not a mere standard, but the embodiment
of the liberty, unity, and sovereignty of our people. This banner compels
us, for all eternity, to build a country of rights, democracy, and liberty,
and a strong, proud, and flourishing Armenia." Hovannisian also stated that
the decision, which the party board would reach today, would be one of the
determinants in the paving of Armenia’s tomorrow.

Heritage delegates then commenced the voting process. The party’s Council
decided–with a vote of 23 for, 1 against, and 3 abstaining–that Heritage
shall take part in the parliamentary elections in the proportional format.

Thereafter, the delegates unanimously approved the party’s election list,
which includes 56 candidates. Raffi Hovannisian, Armenia’s first Ombudswoman
Larisa Alaverdian, and Yerevan State University lecturer Vardan Khachatrian
lead the list.

With respect to supporting candidates who will run in the elections in the
majoritarian format, the Heritage executive board reported that a number of
citizens’ groups had proposed Raffi Hovannisian’s nomination at an election
district in Yerevan, but Hovannisian had declined in order to support the
other opposition candidates who are already nominated in that district. The
Heritage board was in full agreement with Hovannisian in this regard.

Party delegates also unanimously chose board member Armen Martirosian and
activist Mihran Amirkhanian to represent Heritage at the Central Election
Commission.

A statement of solidarity was then read by human rights defender Larisa
Alaverdian.

The convention delegates also adopted a resolution that revealed Armenia’s
historic choice–between becoming the cradle for citizen and citizenship and
continuing to bear the widespread unlawfulness and the unproductive
governance of recent years, which threatens to turn Armenia into a hopeless
territory. "We are determined to gain victory at the parliamentary elections
and, together with other democratic forces in the country, to form a
national government which enjoys the people’s trust and moves to launch
systemic changes in the current year," the resolution reads.

In his closing remarks, Raffi Hovannisian assured his fellow citizens that
in order to deliver the Armenia that belongs to every citizen, Heritage–not
only as a political party, but as a living concept that connects the past
and the future–would work through nationwide efforts to bring the people’s
collective potential to fruition and to put an end to injustice and
inequality. "The election clock has started to tick, and we wish all
candidates and political forces a fair and a righteous contest that is
anchored in the free competition of ideas; the winner should be the one who
earns and deserves it," Hovannisian asserted, calling on government and
opposition parties alike to guarantee equal campaign opportunities and
conditions for all. "We will pass this difficult road together and without
retreat. On May 13 we will gather to celebrate the people’s triumph."

In closing the convention, Vardan Khachatrian added that Heritage’s
objective, far beyond petty party interests, is to establish a civil
society, to enroot democratic values, and to gain strength in unity. "We go
out now to the battlefield with the determination finally to put the nation
on the path of progress."

Founded in 2002, Heritage has regional divisions throughout the land. Its
central headquarters are located at 31 Moscovian Street, Yerevan 0002,
Armenia, with telephone contact at (37410) 53.69.13 and 53.26.97, fax at
(37410) 53.26.97, email at [email protected], and website at

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

www.heritage.am
www.heritage.am

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS