YEREVAN (Yerkir)–The Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s Armenia organization Friday held a special convention, during which ARF Bureau member and Vice Speaker of the Armenian Parliament Vahan Hovanessian was nominated as the party’s candidate for the upcoming presidential elections.
In a secret ballot vote, Hovannesian received 60 votes, and Armen Rustamian received 16 votes.
Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian and other officials were present at the convention. ARF Supreme Body of Armenia’said in a statement that 288,697 people participated in a public vote to gauge the public’s opinion on the ARF nominee. During the five-day vote, Hovannesian received 53 percent and Rustamian received 47 percent.
Rustamian said that while the public vote results were non-binding, the people’s opinion was important.
"We are sure that people today do not trust a regime change that leads only to change of individuals. The people are also tired of keeping the power as an end to itself that leads to merger of a party and the government or the government and the rulers,” Rustamian said. "People do not want either, because the choice would be between the bad and the worse."
"We have been waiting for this election for years and decades," said Hovanessian in his remarks. "We have fought for the day that we can fight as a nation and society."
He pointed to the importance of the rule of law in any country. He said that this balance has been breached and it was not breached today, it never existed, neither in the past, nor during the Soviet rule or the rule of the Armenian Pan-National Movement. He said it is important to form a political struggle because only that can help to have a government based on the rule of law and morality.
"We are not alone in our determination. There are political forces and individuals who adhere to these principles. Together we can reach our goals," Hovannesian said.