Levon Ter-Petrosyan, the First President of the Republic of Armenia (RA), has written an article that has been published on ilur.am, where he states that the ruling majority “Civil Contract” Faction of the National Assembly (NA) is obligated to launch the matter of NA speaker Alen Simonyan’s dismissal. The article reads as follows:
“No matter how much I tried to restrain myself, I still couldn’t stop not reflecting on the disgusting incident that happened two days ago. When a [Diaspora Armenian] young man saw RA National Assembly president Alen Simonyan surrounded by bodyguards on the street, he loudly called him a ‘traitor.’ Simonyan, calmly breaking through the chain of bodyguards, approached the young man with ‘quiet steps’ and fully spat in his face, which, by the way, he proudly confirmed in his explanations after the incident.
“The word spit (except in the field of medicine) is vulgarity in itself and totally disgusting when it is used even in domestic disputes. But when it comes from the lips of one of the highest state officials, especially when it turns into a concrete action by him, then it is already the end of the state.
“As for the word traitor, it is not a domestic profanity or a personal insult, but a purely political assessment which should be not countered by vulgar speech or spit, but by an appropriate and reasonable response, especially since the authorities possess unlimited means of information and propaganda.
“There has never been a leader of a more or less democratic state in the world who was not labeled a traitor by his political opponents. It may seem surprising if, for example, I recall that at one time even outstanding US presidents such as Roosevelt were declared traitors by their political opponents for ceding Eastern European countries to the Soviet Union, Truman—for not preventing the communistization of China, and Clinton—for weakening his country’s military power due to courtship with Russia. None of them spat in the face of those who labeled them as traitors, but countered—personally or by their supporters—all such accusations with valid arguments.
“Now let’s return to the unforgivable act of infamous Alen Simonyan, the head of the only instance endowed with the primary mandate of Armenia. By the way, unforgivable is not just a word in this case, but under it, it is assumed that the National Assembly, and, first of all, the latter’s ‘Civil Contract’ Faction, in order not to lose its standing before the people once and for all, is obligated to launch the matter of Alen Simonyan’s dismissal [as NA speaker]. I am not exaggerating at all. His action is the biggest damage done to the standing of our statehood, which can be eliminated only at the price of the latter’s removal from office. This is the only way to restore the honor of our people before the international community.
“I call on all the media to disseminate this article, and to our entire society, political forces—to join this initiative; moreover, not at all through mass events, demonstrations, marches, but purely legal means.”