Vartan Oskanian Confirms Intention to Join Prosperous Armenia Party
It’s official: former foreign minister of Armenia, founder and chair of the think tank Civilitas Foundation Vartan Oskanian has decided to join the ranks of the Prosperous Armenia party.
In a statement issued today (though dated Feb. 12), Oskanian writes:
“Yesterday I submitted my application for membership to the Prosperous Armenia Party. I make this decision convinced that the Prosperous Armenia Party, together with other political parties, is able to, through political competition, secure free and fair elections, and thus, a new National Assembly with a new configuration of political forces.
“As Chairman of the Board of the Civilitas Foundation, I had, on various occasions, expressed my views on events and developments in Armenia. Today, I believe it is time to become more actively involved in our political processes.
“Given the possibility of my membership in the Prosperous Armenia Party, in the coming days, the Civilitas Foundation Board will make a decision about my future status.”
Recall, Oskanian was appointed Armenia’s foreign minister in 1998 by then-president Robert Kocharian — a position he maintained for 10 years until he left in 2008 following the contested presidential election held in February of that year. On Mar. 1, 2008, when early in the morning national police and military forces dispersed crowds protesting election results from Liberty Square, Oskanian was the official who gave a press conference and explained the ruling authorities’ position.
In February 2011, he explained this move, saying he won’t apologize because he doesn’t consider himself guilty for what happened on those fateful days (referring to the forceful dispersal of crowds which resulted in 10 deaths).
“In such a situation, silence is the most dangerous thing and someone had to be found who could talk to the people. I called on the opposition to dialogue. Thus, I am someone who attempted to prevent these events,” he said then.
He founded the Civilitas Foundation in 2008.
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