President Armen Sarkissian on Monday, in an address to the nation, outlined the current situation in Armenia and Artsakh and concluded that snap parliamentary elections and the government’s resignation were inevitable, if Armenia is to emerge from the current crisis.
The president said that during the past several days he had held consultations with political forces and pubic figures, as well as leaders of the Diaspora, the overwhelming majority of whom agree that a change in government, pursuant to the Constitution, would provide a dignified way out of the impasse.
He urged the government and the ruling party to assess their own internal capacity and to immediately propose a “roadmap” to snap elections, which will be overseen and managed by an interim “National Accord Government” made up of what he called, “highly qualified” individuals.
Below is the translated text of President Sarkissian’s address to the nation.
My fellow Armenians in Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora:
Armenians all over the world are currently experiencing one of the most critical turning points in the millennia-old history of our nation.
The goals, which were striving for after our nation’s great independence, have been jostled.
We lost the war that was imposed on us, both on the battlefield, as well as in the diplomatic and the international arena.
I once again offer my condolences to the families and relatives of the martyred and wish the injured a speedy recovery.
We are the children of a nation that survived the Genocide and overcame it.
A battle may be lost, but we cannot lose as a nation.
It is possible to lose a battler, but it is unacceptable to lose as a nation.
We can restore a house that we burned down with our hands and a lost homeland only by recovering our victory and build that state, with which we will all be truly proud.
And we can do it with confidence, by rationally assessing the situation, learning from the mistakes that were made, and immerse ourselves with unity to revive our nation.
Whatever the differences in our assessments of the past, it is clear that we are facing unprecedented problems.
Artsakh has been seriously wounded.
We have a society in turmoil.
Our troubled economy is weighed down by huge social issues.
The large exodus of people from Artsakh to Armenia can result in a humanitarian crisis.
The situation is incredibly complex due to the pandemic.
The spirit of every Armenian has been shaken in all corners of the world.
Our country today is not the same country that we had on September 26. It’s not even same one that we had on November 8.
We cannot ignore this reality and continue living our normal lives.
During the past couple of days, given the reality, I have held dozens of consultations with parliamentary and extra-parliamentary political forces, various non-governmental organizations and individuals. I had telephone conversations with our compatriots from various Diaspora structures.
The absolute majority of the participants in the meetings agree on one issue: the Prime Minister’s resignation or termination of his powers pursuant to the Constitution and the convening of early parliamentary elections.
It is obvious that despite the end of the war, the Republic of Artsakh, the Republic of Armenia and the entire Armenian nation are entering a period of new trials in which every mistake can have catastrophic consequences.
In the current situation, the Armenian nation has not other alternative but to be united and coalesced.
At this moment, each of us, especially political figures and government officials, must demonstrate the highest level of restraint and exude responsibility, focusing all their efforts on finding ways to overcome this crisis.
In this situation, I want to appeal to law-enforcement agencies.
Today, you have a mammoth task to, first and foremost, ensure order in our country, to be strong and determined, yet, at the same time, remember that every time—on every occasion—the person in front of you is your sister or brother.
Any deviation, any violation of the law is unacceptable and unforgivable. I call on you to uphold and protect the rule of law.
My observations based on meetings and consultations are the following:
Taking into consideration the current situation and the imperative to overcome the crisis with dignity, and having heard the public’s demands, it is obvious that in order to keep the country from further jolts, early Parliamentary elections will be inevitable.
To this end, in my opinion, the only responsible approach for the government and the ruling party is to assess its own internal potential objectively and, in the shortest time, present a roadmap, which will provide deadlines for initiating relevant constitutional processes, which will allow for early parliamentary elections. A highly qualified interim National Accord government will manage this process.
For the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Artsakh and all Armenians living in different countries around the world, the aforementioned observations are aimed at overcoming the crisis in these difficult times, and exclusively stem from based on national interests.
I hope that all the political forces will realize the urgency of the moment, and will do their part to advance this historic mission with dignity.
I would like to remind you that today everyone is behind Armenia, both our friends and our enemies.
We have no other responsibility but to strengthen our country.
There is not other way but to unite all people, and not give credence to any action or statement that that threatens to divide our society.
Only through unity will we be overcome this burden of defeat, and to show ourselves, the future generations and the world that we are the children of a nation that is impossible to defeat.
I am confident that the Armenian people will emerge from the difficult situation with honor and victory.
May God bless us all.