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5/10/15: The second round, “big guys”, and “special leader”


Photo: Photolure

Photo: Photolure

Photo: Photolure

Stepan Demirchyan’s supporters in 2003
Stepan Demirchyan’s supporters in 2003

Photo: Photolure

Robert Kocharyan at a news conference on March 5, 2008
Robert Kocharyan at a news conference on March 5, 2008

Photo: Photolure

Photo: Photolure

Peter Eicher
Peter Eicher

Photo: Photolure

Matthew Bryza and Serzh Sargsyan meeting on March 6, 2008
Matthew Bryza and Serzh Sargsyan meeting on March 6, 2008

Photo: Photolure


Today we live in a society, which can not imagine life without expressing views on social media. Probably it does have certain advantages. Nevertheless, many participants of active discussions have already forgotten or do not even know about the developments, which unfolded in Armenia 5, 10 or 15 years ago.  

To fill the gap Mediamax presents 5/10/15 project, which introduce developments in Armenia 5,10 and 15 years ago.

•    15 YEARS AGO: MARCH 5-11, 2003

Naghdalyan’s murder is solved

On March 5, the Armenian Prosecutor General's Office announced the solving of the murder of Chairman of National TV and Radio Council Tigran Naghdalyan, who was killed on 28 December 2002.

Overall, six people were arrested: direct executors of Tigran Naghdalyan’s murder and their accomplices.

The outcome of the second round

On March 5, Armenia held the second round of presidential elections, where acting President Robert Kocharyan won by gaining 67% of votes.

Head of presidential candidate Stepan Demirchyan’s campaign office, Grigor Harutyunyan said that “about 400,000 votes were falsified in incumbent president’s favor” during the second round.

Stepan Demirchyan’s supporters in 2003 Stepan Demirchyan’s supporters in 2003

Photo: Photolure


On March 6, Head of the OSCE Observation Mission Peter Eicher stated that the OSCE and Council of Europe observers were “disappointed” with the second round of presidential elections in Armenia. According to Eicher, the international observers noticed “serious irregularities”. He singled out the cases of ballot box stuffing, “recorded on the entire territory of Armenia”.

Nevertheless, Peter Eicher refrained from answering the question whether the registered violations might affect the final outcome of the elections.
Peter Eicher Peter Eicher

Photo: Photolure


On March 7, acting Armenian President’s campaign manager, Defense Minister Serzh Sargsyan stated that the authorities “were not surprised by the fact that the opposition had refused to accept the outcome of presidential elections.”

On March 7, Council of Europe Secretary General Walter Schwimmer and PACE President Peter Schieder expressed their concern that “the Armenian presidential elections fell short of international standards”.

•    10 YEARS AGO: MARCH 5-11, 2008

“It was a necessity”

On March 5, Yerevan, Armenian President Robert Kocharyan stated that the announcement of the state of emergency on March 1 was “a necessity”.

While speaking at a press conference, the President said that “otherwise, the number of victims and the injured would be much higher and the consequences of the unrest much heavier”.

Robert Kocharyan stated that the law-enforcement agencies had plenty of materials, including video recordings, and “the picture of the March 1 events will be restored by minute”.

“Don’t call the “big guys” to the rescue”

On March 5, Yerevan, Armenian President Robert Kocharyan remarked that Levon Ter-Petrosyan “must answer to the people and the law-enforcement bodies instead of calling the “big guys” to the rescue through The Washington Post”.

In The Washington Post article Levon Ter-Petrosyan, in particular, urged the West to declare the authorities and not the opposition guilty for the events of March 1.

“Not the best decision”

On March 5, Robert Kocharyan addressed harsh words of criticism to Ombudsman Armen Harutyunyan, accusing him of “being uninformed” and “lacking the sense of responsibility”.

The Armenian President made that remark while commenting on the Ombudsman’s statement, which particularly mentioned the excessive use of force by the police on the evening of March 1.
Robert Kocharyan at a news conference on March 5, 2008 Robert Kocharyan at a news conference on March 5, 2008

Photo: Photolure


“If the Ombudsman had information, he would know that the unrest and the clashes with police took place a kilometer away from the place, where the so-called rally was held. What rally dispersal is he talking about? He does not know what he is saying,” claimed Robert Kocharyan.

“Obviously, nomination of this candidate for the position of Ombudsman was not one of my best personnel decisions,” said Kocharyan.

The “special leader”

On March 6, Deputy Assistant of U.S. Secretary of State Matthew Bryza stated that he considered Prime Minister of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan a “special leader, who has vision and approaches, which we want to see for implementation of joint programs”.
Matthew Bryza and Serzh Sargsyan meeting on March 6, 2008 Matthew Bryza and Serzh Sargsyan meeting on March 6, 2008

Photo: Photolure


“You are a special leader. We support you principally. The U.S. Charge D’Affaires in Armenia and I believe that you have the vision and the approaches, which we want to see for the implementation of joint programs. We want you to achieve success and we want Armenia to be successful,” the Armenian Government press service quoted Matthew Bryza as saying during the meeting with the Armenian President-elect Serzh Sarsgyan.

•    5 YEARS AGO: MARCH 5-11, 2013

Sanctions against North Korea

On March 11, Armenia joined the sanctions of the European Union against North Korea along with a number of European countries.

“The European Union takes into consideration and welcomes the decision of these countries,” said Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The other countries to join the EU sanctions against North Korea were Moldova, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Lichtenstein, Iceland, and Norway.

Ara Tadevosyan

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