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Armenia’s Hybrid Politician: A Look at Raffi Hovannisian through U.S. Embassy Cables

Armenia’s Hybrid Politician: A Look at Raffi Hovannisian through U.S. Embassy Cables

by Nanore Barsoumian
21.03.2013

The U.S. Embassy cables released by WikiLeaks provide invaluable information and insight on how American diplomats assess the inner workings of Armenia’s politics in general, and key players like Raffi Hovannisian in particular. As embassy officials grappled to absorb the day-to-day politics of the country, time and again they voiced their agreement with Hovannisian’s assessment of the political landscape in the country. They often judged him—the leader of the often sole opposition faction in parliament—to be a politician of a different breed, the exception among the “traditional” opposition politicians. However, they generally frowned upon his foreign policy views, which they attributed to his diaspora background.

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Armenia’s youth take center stage at Liberty Square

Armenia’s youth take center stage at Liberty Square

Yerevan—On the eighteenth day of his hunger strike, Raffi K. Hovannisian appeared strong and healthy as ever, as he answered questions during a press conference and later participated in the public discussions taking place at Liberty Square.

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Public forums and football at Liberty Square

Public forums and football at Liberty Square

Yerevan—On the seventeenth day of his hunger strike at Liberty Square, Raffi K. Hovannisian presided over the latest in a series of public forums, an ongoing dialogue of political leaders, intellectuals, and activists. The discussions today were led by Petros Makeyan and Manvel Gasparyan, whose parties—Democratic Fatherland and Democratic Way, respectively—have joined the historic Barev Yerevan coalition, which will contest the municipal elections to take place in the capital on May 5.

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Public forums fuel debate at Liberty Square

Public forums fuel debate at Liberty Square

Yerevan—As Raffi K. Hovannisian entered the sixteenth day of his hunger strike at Liberty Square, the Barevolution series of public forums continued to attract activist crowds to the heart of the capital. Led by Stepan Safaryan, secretary general for international affairs of the Heritage Party, and joined by intellectual Vardan Hakobyan of the pre-parliament movement, the day’s discussions were moderated by Levon Bagramian.

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