It’s official now. Levon Ter-Petrosyan will run for presidency in upcoming Armenian elections. [selected blog reports, video and photos - here, here, here and here] I wrote about my thoughts of him before. Now it’s time for updates.
Number-wise, the rally could be considered a success. Even if it’s 10 000, it is still good, taking into account apathy of population and all sorts of efforts by current administration against the rally and Levon & co. Based on various sources and friends’ impressions who attended the rally, atmosphere-wise it was also a successful day for Levon. There was optimism and good energy around during that rally.
His tone was calmer and speech - more solid than the one on 21st September, when he first declared his presidential intentions. He looked very arrogant on the 21st.
In fact, if I were to meet Levon, I would say to him: “Do not be arrogant. It does not suit you.” You were first elected as people’s president. You were ‘one of us’ – well, at least that’s how the majority perceived you. However, in few years you became arrogant, kind of self-isolated and intolerant to dissent voice. I quite like the fact that you were holding meetings with various political parties, even those that you shut down during your term of presidency. However, I’d like to get assurances that the practice of political dialogue will continue if you were to be elected as President.
You keep criticising current administration for their inability to solve Karabakh problem. Fair enough. However, your plan was not any better. You rightly repeated that under any solution Karabakh cannot be a part of Azerbaijan again. But you supported a plan that did not give any clear indication as to what will happen to Karabakh status. Karabakh is one of the key issues and you have to spell out more clearly your vision.
When you criticise current regime of being corrupt, you are becoming a very easy target to counter-claims. Unless you come clean for the past, it won’t be easy for you to re-gain electorate’s trust and move forward to present and future. There were lots of speculations before the rally that you may acknowledge your mistakes and say “Sorry” to people who trusted you and then felt betrayed by you. Your vague ‘apology’ during infamous forced resignation speech in 1998 is not enough. May be yesterday was not a right time to do so, but you have to do it in coming months... People won’t forget your mistakes, but they will appreciate your frankness.
To be honest, while I am glad that it seems we are to witness an exciting presidential campaign, there is something inside me that makes me feel worry. Call it intuition or whatever, I have those weird feelings that something bad may happen. Too much is at stake to those who are in power now if they to lose it via democratic elections. On the other hand, Levon came out to win, and any other outcome will not be ‘acceptable’ to his supporters. I hope nothing bad will happen, I really do. I hope we won’t witness violence and blood. I feel unease... I want to get rid of these feelings, but I do not know yet how...