Notes From Hairenik
February 20, 2008
Today at around 3:00 I made my way to the Matenadaran, or rather the national archives building, at the top of Mashdots Street with a friend of mine with the aim to attend the rally being sponsored by Levon Ter-Petrossian's supporters, namely the Aylentrank movement and Pan-Armenian National Movement party members. The emcee of the charade was Nikol Pashinian, who is a leading member of Aylentrank and the editor of the pro-Ter-Petrossian daily newspaper Haykakan Zhamanak (Armenian Times). In between chants of "Levon!" and "Victory!" he managed to spew quite a bit of discontent about how the elections were handled, with claims that the outcome was falsified, justice was not served, and so forth. He was trying to raise hell amongst the attendees numbering in perhaps the tens of thousands, but many seemed to be preoccupied with munching sunflower seeds. After 45 minutes of listening to speeches that were largely repetitious, with calls for action that not many took very seriously, we headed our way towards Tumanyan Shawerma for lunch. By the time we returned just over a half-hour later Ter-Petrossian had just finished speaking and people were walking away. So much for change.

Apparently the OSCE has just issued their initial findings in a brief report, claiming that the elections largely met their set international standards, although the term "free and fair" was avoided. The report can be read here.

And supposedly the opposition did not give up at 5:00 or whenever it was when the party was getting out at the Matenadaran. There was a march towards Republic Square about two hours ago. The whereabouts of the opposition-led crowd is unknown at present. Seeing that it is time for news reporters to go home for the day, I may not find out what is going on until I arrive downtown after 10:30 from the Komidas district where I work to go home. But by then I am sure the crowd would have dispersed. Then again you never know. A full moon is out tonight, and I heard that some of these opposition figures as well as their ardent supporters are werewolves, but I cannot reveal any names since I don't wish to be eaten in my sleep.

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