HOVANNISIAN SLAMS EPP OVER ITS HEAD’S APPROACH TO ARMENIAN ELECTION
VOTE 2013 | 14.03.13 | 10:14
By SIRANUYSH GEVORGYAN ArmeniaNow reporter
Opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian, who is disputing the official
results of last month’s presidential election, said his Heritage
Party may reconsider its membership in the largest European-level
coalition of center-right parties in view of its leader’s behavior.
Wilfried Martens, the president of the European People’s Party (EPP),
was among the first Western leaders to congratulate incumbent Armenian
president Serzh Sargsyan on his reelection in what he described as
“the best-ever organized elections that were mostly in line with
international standards.” Martens also did not conceal his support
for Sargsyan’s reelection bid even before the February 18 election,
in particular, by addressing the convention of Sargsyan’s ruling
Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) last December.
Just like Heritage, the RPA is also a member of the EPP. The Armenian
leader is visiting Brussels today to attend the EPP summit and is also
due to meet with Martens as part of the event. The EPP head himself
had voiced his hope to see Sargsyan at the summit when he sent him
his congratulatory message last month.
“This victory represents clear support from the citizens for the
democratic, economic, and legal reforms undertaken by President
Sargysan and an encouragement for their continuation. Moreover,
Armenia is now a role model for other Eastern Partnership countries,
in view of its successful Association Agreement negotiations with the
European Union. The EPP strongly supports the European path of Armenia
since Europe and Armenia share a common heritage and common values
and will surely share a common future,” wrote Martens, in particular.
The Heritage Party leader, who has been on a hunger strike in Yerevan’s
Liberty Square since last Sunday and is also disputing the election
results at the Constitutional Court, believes that Martens showed a
hasty approach by congratulating Sargsyan.
“By giving this official assessment before the recognition of our
people’s vote and resolution of this national problem, he broke
his function as EPP president, and I will tell him about this
straightforwardly. You should ask Mr. Sargsyan why he has left for
Brussels, but if he has gone there to get another congratulation, if
Martens should say that he [Sargsyan] got 60 or 70 percent… if the
EPP is to take the path of fraud, then the Heritage Party and I have
nothing in common with the EPP,” Hovannisian told media on Wednesday.
It is remarkably that Sargsyan, who, according to the official tally,
got less than 59 percent of the vote in the February 18 election, was
congratulated upon a victory with “more than 60 percent” by Russian
President Vladimir Putin when the two met in Moscow on March 12. The
matter became a topic for speculation by some Armenian media some of
which went as far as claiming that this way the Russian leader also
“mocked” at Sargsyan’s disputed win.
Hovannisian believes that the EPP president should reconsider his
approach to Sargsyan’s victory or else “give an answer to the EPP
member parties for his behavior.”
“If his behavior becomes the EPP’s collective opinion, then yes, I
think that Heritage will consider quitting the EPP, but before that
we will make every effort for the EPP to remain committed to its own
standards and values,” stressed the Armenian opposition leader.
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress