Saturday, August 04, 2007

Diaspora’s involvement in the next presidential election is of utmost importance

Dear concerned Diaspora members,

I’d like to draw your attention which maybe focused on genocide recognition in the US; a preliminary step towards the bigger goal of reparations and a PR help for restoration of Armenian land currently in Turkey, that the bigger fight for the ultimate goal of reparations and restitution remains in the strengthening of Republic of Armenia. Although Armenia remains an excellent place to visit for holiday enjoyment, the political situation in Armenia has gotten to a dangerous point and Diaspora’s involvement in the next presidential election is of utmost important. The current leadership has focused its main attention and energy away from pan Armenian ideals and has instead put most of its energy towards personal gain and enrichment. For those of you who have visited Armenia in the past years, will now find Armenia a significantly different place with consumer prices almost equivalent and sometimes higher than US prices due to rapid dram appreciation in the past few months and years. Armenia has now become an import dependent country with gov’t connected oligarchs having monopoly on almost all sectors of imports and complete liberty to set high prices on a population which is dependent on dollar proceeds from families working abroad. Sadly one of the few large factories in Armenia (grand tobacco) which used to have strong exports, has recently made statements of moving its operations to Georgia due to inability to compete abroad due to a rapidly appreciated dram. All export oriented businesses including software industry is suffering as a result of our current leaders manipulation of dram, which benefits their import monopolies. Our liberated territories have been left without gov’t attention and officials personally benefiting themselves in strategic places such as Kashatagh (Laching and Kelbajar, see The selfish attitude of the current leadership is causing great problems for the future of Armenia’s prosperity and national ideals.

The bottom line is if we allow Serge Sarkissian (current prime minister) to rig and win the next presidential elections, this process of deterioration of Armenia’s national interests will continue and get worst. Fortunately, however there is hope. Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) in Armenia has recently made statements that it will not support Serge Sarkissian’s candidacy for president. Moreover, ARF has made statements that it will nominate its own presidential candidate and also hinted at cooperating with Raffi Hovanissian’s Heritage party which has similar nationalistic approaches with ARF. For those of you not aware, Raffi Hovannisian’s Heritage party won seats in Parliament a few months ago and according to recently published Gallup Poll survey results from Armenia, Raffi’s party has an above 80% favorable rating and if Raffi was a presidential candidate he would receive 19 votes compared with 17 votes for ALL other candidates combined. Basically, there is no other politician in Armenia who has more likelihood of winning the presidential election by clean votes, than Raffi Hovannisian. There are also rumors that Vartan Oskanian may run but his local support base seems to be currently leaning towards Serge Sarkissian, who is consolidating power of the elite in control of business in Armenia.

Influential Diasrpoan organizations and individuals with involvement and care for Armenia can really make a difference in the upcoming presidential elections by being vigilant against corrupt officials and take a stance on candidates that will run a country without focus on personal enrichment. In order to insure the just resolution for the Armenian genocide, we must first make sure Armenia is strengthened and only with the right leadership that goal will be achieved.


Yerevan, Armenia

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