Heritage Party founder and leader, Raffi Hovannisian, is on the seventh day of a hunger strike he began on March 15, urging the authorities to organize snap elections. Our sister publication, the Armenian Weekly’s contributor Christian Garbis, met up with Hvannisian, who discussed the aim of the hunger strike as well as a broad range of issues related to Armenia’s political future.
Since the beginning of the strike, Hovannisian has received visitors, well wishers and supporters at his outpost on Liberty Square. However, when during an Armenian National Congress rally Thursday, the group’s leader Levon Ter-Petrosian and other leaders did not approach or acknowledge his presence, a political rift came to forefront, which Hovannisian describes as politically motivated.
Among those who visited Hovannisian were members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Parliamentary bloc Lilit Galstian, Ardzvig Minasyan, and Vahan Hovannesian, as well as ARF Eastern US Central Committee chairperson Antranig Kasbarian. Numerous other party leaders, politicians, and activists also stopped by Hovannisian’s bench. They included Armenia’s Justice Minister Hrayr Tovmasyan, and singers Roupen Hakhverdyan, Forsh, and Vahan Artsruni
“All of Armenia’s citizens who care for their country and want change, including the youth—and there have been a lot of young people coming here from university in the last couple of days—to get them empowered and to convey the message that if there’s no fundamental solution to our national crisis today, we are just postponing the inevitable, and that inevitable is an abyss and a potential violent situation in Armenia. So it’s up to us…in this square and elsewhere, we have to raise our voice,” Hovannisian told Garbis.
Read the entire interview here.