Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Officers of the National Security Service of Armenia resign in support of Ter-Petrosyan

Since last week I keep hearing rumours from here and there about growing support within government and civil servants towards former president and presidential hopeful Levon Ter-Petrosyan. However, except few examples from governing Republican party, there was no other evidence, just rumours.

Today during his campaign rally in southeastern Armenia Ter-Petrosyan claimed that “there is growing support from government and law-enforcement bodies”, “state bodies with us”, “at least 90 percent of the staffs of security bodies, ministries are with the people”, and “more than 50 employees of the National Security Service (NSS) have refused to “work against their own people” in next week’s election and resigned from the former KGB in recent days.”

My first reaction was that well, ok, there may be some support, but it’s probably more of a propaganda trick aimed at providing reassurances to electorate and stirring further divisions and tensions within government which seems to increasingly lose ground.

However, I got confirmations via friend that at least several officers of the National Security Service of Armenia, whom he knows and spoke with today, have resigned, and they confirmed the growing trend. Also, one pro-government source accepted today that the situation is indeed very serious for prime minister Serj Sargsyan and no one in government camp expected the level of support Levon would gain.


Onnik Krikorian said...

The NSS deny that anyone has left so I think you need to be a little clearer about your source while also protecting their identity. For example, are they a member of Ter-Petrossian's campaign team or not or from a partisan news source and so on.

So far, only Ter-Petrossian has announced this and the NSS denied it. No online media source that I have seen has reported it as fact and have only been able to quote Ter-Petrossian.

More details please because this is now getting into the realms of rumors. For example gossip is spreading that Manvel Grigorian is ready to join Levon Ter-Petrossian and is arming his people in preparation for 20 February.

Is it true? Who knows, but one thing is certain. In the 21st century we shouldn't be spreading rumor and gossip. There are enough pro-Ter Petrossian and pro-Sargsyan media outlets to do that and so far, none of them have.

My take? It's all a game, and a very dangerous one at that. Please, quote media sources in the future because really, they'd be printing this by now, and especially RFE/RL. Instead, for now at least, all they can do is quote Ter-Petrossian.

I wouldn't take Sargsyan's word and I wouldn't take Ter-Petrossian's word. That's why we have a media, and in Armenia it's quite capable of checking up on such things. Why are we now listening only to gossip?

Anyway, like I said, the NSS denies the information:

Please post links to reports if its confirmed that they happened. Statements from Ter-Petrossian I can take only as the words of a politician eager to encourage people to take to the streets on 20 February.

artmika said...

As I mentioned in this post, I had doubts about the reliability of this news too, since it came only from Ter-Petrosyan himself and looked to me more of a campaign trick. However, only when I got confirmation that at least several NSS officers resigned, I posted it here (and I want to make it clear that they are “resigned” and not “dismissed” as reported by Panorama, and as far as I understand, they are not top level officers, but anyway).

I could only say that the source of my information has no connections with Ter-Petrosyan campaign team or partisan news source, otherwise I would have stated it. My source is a friend of those several NSS officers who actually resigned.

Onnik Krikorian said...

And yet it's still not reported by the pro-Ter-Petrosian media? Sorry, I can't believe anything in Armenia anymore. This election is a joke and its such rumors and gossip that make it pretty clear that Ter-Petrossian is playing a game.

I doubt he has even 9 percent support in the NSS and it's just an attempt to convince people to risk their necks on 20 February. If Ter-Petrossian is lying then god help them, and to be honest, god help Armenia.

If it were true, for example, why was he so desperate for Artur's support? And why did he try to postpone the election for 2 weeks? And why does LTP's team vilify anyone who isn't on their side?

Something doesn't add up, basically, and I learned during the 2007 parliamentary election that the opposition here are as skilled at disseminating false information as anyone else.