YEREVAN—In a letter addressed to opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian, President Serzh Sarkisian advised the former to put an end to his hunger strike, and then discuss, “without shows,” the “raw” text proposed by Hovannisian.
Hovannisian’s text “will help in starting constructive dialogue,” said Sarkisian. “I am happy that you have expressed readiness to take oversight responsibilities worthy of a strong opposition, and in that issue it seems that we hold similar views. I am confident that if we start working together, with the same goal in mind, we can achieve results.”
Sarkisian concluded, “I advise you to stop your hunger strike, rest and recover for a couple of days, and we, paper and pen in hand, can start working—without shows—working seriously, accepting as basis the text—albeit very raw—that you yourself proposed.”
Hovannisian on Friday offered what he called “the authorities’ last chance” to come together and creating a new Armenia, by reading a document, which among other points calls for “comprehensive power sharing” with the authorities.
“The time for change has come,” Hovannisian told thousands of people gathered at Liberty Square. “Either the authorities will change their attitude toward the people, or the people will rise to change their authorities once and for all. One way or the other, on April 9, we shall have our New Armenia.”
The document, which after being read was dispatched to the president’s office, put forth two options: the immediate conduct of new presidential elections; or a comprehensive power-sharing deal between the authorities and “the people,” which includes appointment of candidates proposed by Hovannisian to key ministries.
On Monday, Hovannisian said he would address a letter to Sarkisian on Tuesday and will address the matter on Wednesday at a press conference.