Whatever happens during election day, you people – tens of thousands in Liberty sq in Yerevan, thousands in Armenian regions - are Winners for me. Today you sent the very clear message that you want and demand changes, that you are, after all, not indifferent to your future and future of Armenia… that after years of oppressing your real dreams, after years of apathy, you are sick of this hibernating state.
You were there on my behalf too. My parents, relatives, friends were there too, and I am very proud of them. I have few friends who support different direction than me, who support ‘no change’. I love them too. Armenia which I envisage should be all-inclusive society, where people of different views, and, in general, different people feel at home.
There were lots of complaints in recent period about the widespread apathy among Armenian population, which seemed impossible to change. Even his fierce critics had to admit that Ter-Petrosyan made that impossible possible. If only for that, for awakening, I’d like to thank our first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan.
Saturday, 16 February 2008 saw the largest pre-election rally of people who came by their own wish, not by the pressure of administrative resources or by pop concert incentive. Some say “tens of thousands”, some – “hundreds of thousands”. I do not care about exact estimates. What is more important for me is that for people who were out there it felt like hundreds of thousands, it felt like 1988 – exactly 20 yrs ago. Time passes so quickly, it’s like it was yesterday, when I was among you marching, rallying. Hoping for better, and actually gaining that chance for better, independence, defending and securing Karabakh, building up democracy, then disappointing and sinking into the state of apathy…
I wish I am with you now, but it’s only physical distance. My mind, my heart is with all and each of you. I hope your dreams, my dreams for change, for better won’t be brutally oppressed again. This time it has to be different. I do not want to wait another 20 years, I do not want to see your soul broken. Mine will be broken too. I want to wake up next day proud and hopeful.