At a hastily convened press conference a few hours after the polls closed in Armenia, Raffi Hovannisian put a good face on his second place showing in the presidential election by stating that “All of us are winners. The Armenian people have become a nation, a state. The people have spoken.”
Hovannisian, Armenia’s first foreign affairs minister, laid down the gauntlet to those he charged with rigging the election and fomenting a state of fear and intimidation reminiscent of the Soviet Union.
“Those who distort the voice of the citizens of Armenia will be called to account,” Hovannisian said.
The candidate, who garnered 37% of the vote according to the Central Electoral Commission, said he would not run in the 2018 presidential election and that it was time for a “new generation” to assume the task of governing Armenia.
In the ensuing five years, Hovannisian promised that he and his supporters would serve side-by-side with the people.
The candidate did not directly respond to a reporter who asked, “Mr. Hovannisian, did you win?”
Rather, he invited reporters and voters to a rally at Freedom Square in Yerevan today at 5pm where he will comment on the election.