While Serzh Sargsyan took the presidential oath on April 9 to begin another term as Armenia’s president, his main challenger, Raffi Hovhannisian, vowed to keep pressing for change. But many members of the opposition rank-and-file are questioning whether Hovhannisian is the right person to lead the next charge.
Sargsyan’s inauguration took place at the Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex in the Armenian capital Yerevan. Heavily armed police units ringed the complex, a reflection of the contested nature of the February election results. Before thousands of attendees, and placing his hand on a 7th century bible, Sargsyan promised to promote and protect a “secure Armenia.” Karekin II, the Catolicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church, also blessed Sargsyan’s presidency.
“I swear to unconditionally fulfill the requirements of the Constitution; to respect human and civil rights and freedoms; to protect the independence of the Republic; its territorial integrity and security for the glory of the Republic of Armenia; and for the benefit of the people of the Republic of Armenia,” Sargsyan stated.
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Marianna Grigoryan is a freelance reporter based in Yerevan and editor of MediaLab.am.