by Tatevik Shahunyan
The people and the opposition must exert genuine efforts to restore justice after the post-election tragic incidents of March 1 2008, said Levon Ter-Petrosyan, the first president of Armenia, Leader of the Armenian National Congress, in his speech at the rally in Liberty Square on March 1, 2014.
"Impunity will lead to new crimes. One of ANC's prior tasks is to achieve exposure of the March 1 2008 crimes and compensation. I assure you that ANC is full of determination to fight till the very end to achieve exposure of that crime. Concealment of that crime will mean to desecrate the memory of the victims, and to make a crime shattering our statehood," he said.
As regards the heavy political and economic situation in the country, Ter-Petrosyan said that the opposition has revealed the machinations in the 'gas deals' with Russia that resulted in accumulation of a 300 million dollars debt to that country. He called the sale of the Vorotan Cascade of HPPs another crime.
"The authorities stole 180 million, as that amount has been allegedly transferred to a conspirational company Vorotan Cascade. Meanwhile, I am not sure that the given amount was transferred that company. 180 million dollars is 7% of the budget revenue. Return of those 180 million to the state budget must become one of the public's major demands," he said.
Ter-Petrosyan recalled that after nearly 4-year-long negotiations for the EU Association Agreement, the country's leadership let Europe down and turned to the Customs Union in a moment.
"Our authorities have become so pro-Russian that even Russian officials are surprised. Earlier, the authorities thought their legitimacy depended on Europe, meanwhile, they rely on Russia. Anyway, we do not assess elections, we speak of the status of a vassal Armenia will have at the Customs Union. Look at the latest gas agreement," Ter-Petrosyan said. He spotlighted the unprecedented migration from the country.
Nevertheless, the first president found "a ray of light in the realm of darkness" praising the civil society and its recent activation. He said that the civil sector and the opposition should consolidate to fight the authorities.
"However, the authorities constantly try to split the cooperation of the civil sector and the opposition," the first president said. Another reason for Ter-Petrosyan's optimism is cooperation of the four non- governmental forces (ANC, Heritage, Prosperous Armenia, ARFD - editor's note).