Raffi Hovannisian demands to convene Constitutional Congress
Leader of the Heritage Party Raffi Hovannisian has issued a message. According to the press office of the party, the message read:
“The complete irresponsibility of a large part of our national-political stratum compelled me last month to go on a hunger strike, an extreme form of political protest.
There is no need to explain to anyone the utter tragedy of our nation’s current state of affairs. It is fundamentally evident to the political class itself as well as to the whole nation. As an ordinary citizen and a public figure, I can and will no longer reconcile myself with such a situation. Taking into account the presumption of respect toward my political colleagues, I began my protest solely on the basis of the already manifest Demand which our people had long put forward—in order to spare their self-esteem and still cherishing the hope that conscience had not abandoned these people once and for all.
Over the entire course of my “Fast for Freedom,” I ultimately became convinced that a significant segment of our “elite” has neither conscience nor common sense. They carelessly pass by and indifferently look upon all those hardships which our people continue to endure. They actually believe that it is possible to abuse the people’s trust, to test their patience, and to disregard their rights and human dignity for years on end. In a word, endlessly to pollute the source of their own welfare.
Ever since the sounding of my alarm, tens of thousands of my fellow citizens expressed their solidarity, and so today I have the right to speak for most of them. Distinguished colleagues of the political field—that is, the ruling coalition, the incumbent president, pro-government forces, and even some in the opposition—you wished to know about my priority political demands? Here they are:
First, I demand that a Constitutional Congress be convened in order to author and adopt a new Basic Law for the Republic of Armenia. Our nation’s magna carta must be cultivated and confirmed by the People and not by a National Assembly of obvious repute, as is deemed convenient by the leadership of the “party turned state” which is preparing to reign forever. Refusal of this popular demand will entail the admission that, for them, personal power trumps national interests.
Second, I demand that Armenia recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. What can bring you and us to our senses, oh ye Armenian politicians? Could it simply be individual criminal accountability? If our national justice system is incapable of securing the rule of law and the respect for human rights in the country, then the people of Armenia must be empowered to petition the international justice system to those ends. Rejection of this proposal will mean that the oft-repeated pledges about bearing responsibility for the people’s destiny are nothing but empty words.
Third, I demand from the Armenian president that by withdrawal of signatures he declare the Armenian-Turkish protocols null and void, and that he formally recognize the Mountainous Karabagh Republic (MKR) within its constitutional frontiers. It requires no proof that Armenia’s “Madrid-based” recognition of an interim status for Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan, pending conduct of a new referendum, contradicts the letter and spirit of NKR’s Constitution. Refusal of this demand will be tantamount to ignoring the will of the people of Artsakh.
On the road to returning power to the people, these are my political demands. I hereby call upon my fellow citizens and all my political colleagues to advocate and defend these demands without reservation.
I also call upon all those who to this day have expressed their solidarity with my protest against a resident regime that is authoritarian, plutarchic, corrupt, and beholden to foreign powers to support these straightforward demands.
My dear countrymen, the state of our state depends on each and every one of us. The time has now come for the Armenian nation to make an important choice for itself: to live as before or to transform our today.
Justice is our weapon of choice, and the willpower for Armenia-centric change our guarantee of success.
As for the rest, we will consider it all, this time together and as equals, during the public assembly we shall hold at the Government Conference Hall on 21 May 2011 at high noon. Until then!”