BY SETO BOYADJIAN, ESQ.
While the Central Electoral Commission made its announcement last Monday on the bogus results of the February 18 presidential election in Armenia, the people on Yerevan’s Freedom Square dictated the real outcome of the presidential elections.
Acting at the behest of the ruling regime, the Commission declared incumbent Serge Sarkisian as the victor with utmost disregard of the consequences to the country and the people. In fact, it rubber stamped the ongoing usurpation of power by fraud and deceit that began back in 1990’s during the heydays of former President Levon Ter Peterossian.
The irony in declaring Serge Sarkisian the winner is that the ruling clique is totally disconnected with the political reality expressed and exercised by the people of Armenia. The Commission’s declaration constitutes a last ditch effort to officialize Sarkisian’s second term, irrespective of its devastating cost to Armenia and the nation.
Sarkisian and his people fail to realize the outbreak of a real people’s revolution on Freedom Square.
The people in Armenia have broken their bonds with the old Soviet mold. For decades the centrally dictated Soviet style of politics is over. The era of thinking and acting as a subservient is over. Today, the citizens of Armenia are shedding aside the Soviet political culture. They have entered the era of a political culture that is inspired and bred by the ideals of a free and independent Armenia.
The “audacity” of the forty percent of the people voting against Sarkisian and the popular movement spreading throughout the country provide a manifest testimony to the rise of the new democratic political culture in Armenia.
The people do not fear anymore Armenia’s all-powerful oligarchs and their tentacles spread all over the levers of the government. In townships and villages, even in major cities, they dared the threats and duress of the ruling regime as they entered the polling booths to vote for president.
The people have acquired the civic wisdom of distinguishing between a self-serving candidate and the person dedicated to serve the people and the country. They have now learned to appreciate and support leaders who truly believe in public service as opposed to those in pursuit of selfish exploitations.
The people have developed an utter distrust of the successive rulers who have hoarded wealth in their personal coffers and contributed indiscriminate benefits to their oligarchic clans. In the past, these rules were tolerated and even supported because they were “native” Armenians. Today, the people of Armenia seek, trust and support honest and dedicated leaders whether they are natives of Armenia or are from the Diaspora. A taboo is broken. The test is trustworthiness and not the geographic origin of the leader.
The popular movement today that is taking over Armenia from village to townships, from major cities to counties, is indicative of the new newly acquired political culture. Such movements in the past were focused on the acquisition and accumulation of power by one group for another. That approach was a legacy of the Soviet upbringing. The people’s movement today does not seek the replacement of one clan by another. Its objective is to restore law, order and justice in the country. Its target is to return the reins of power to the people – the lawful owners of the country and the state.
Serzh Sarkisian and his ruling clique are under siege by the new political culture. They have no recourse. The Soviet man is dead.
Seto Boyadjian is an attorney and serves on the national board of ANCA.