“The Well-Known Diaspora Armenians Urge the Citizens to Participate in the Elections”
31.03.2017
15:00
Well-known Diaspora Armenians, namely Serj Tankian, Armenian American Rock Musician and Composer, Vocalist and Founder of the world famous “System of a Down” Band, Arsinee Khanjian, Armenian-Canadian Actress and Producer, Atom Egoyan, Armenian-Canadian Film Director, Erik Nazarian, Armenian American Film Director and Screenwriter, arrived in Armenian from abroad to conduct an observation mission in the Parliamentary elections.

Their joint press conference was held at Media Center on March 31.

Arsinee Khanjian said that they participated in the training held by “Citizen-Observer” which will help them to be oriented and respond quickly in detecting irregularities on election day on April 2.    
“It is time for a new approach to elections. We will be "mobile" observers. We will enter polling stations and observe the election process in different regions,” Arsine Khanjian said.  

 Atom Egoyan said that he loves Armenia and the Armenian people. He himself urged the Armenian people to participate in April 2 elections. 

“Be the owner of your vote. If you don’t participate in the elections on Sunday, you will hurt yourself,” Egoyan said and added that they arrived in Armenia with a concrete mission to keep the votes of people.

Serj Tankian said that the goal of participating in the elections as observers is to eradicate injustice and indifference.

“The observation mission of the Diaspora Armenians will be a small proportion in the domestic political life of Armenia,” Tankian said, stressing that it was a great honor to be in Armenia as an observer.

He also highlighted the participation of Diaspora celebrities in “Justice Armenia” initiative launched after the attack on the police patrol building which he is a member of.  

He said that after the case of “Sasna Dzrer”, they are afraid of what it might happen in Armenia: “After the years of injustice and despair, we were scared and we want to participate in building at least a small amount of justice in Armenia.”

“The indifference of RA citizens towards the political life should be brought to an end. The most important thing for us is the will of the people and the longings during these elections. The monitoring is not the most important thing in our activity, we are artists, and our task is to inspire you to go and vote. There are fraudulent. There is corruption in every country but it should not be an obstacle for your vote. 2.5 million people have the right to vote and to stand up for it,” Tankian said.

Around 300 Diaspora Armenian observers arrived in Armenia through the call of "Justice Armenia" to monitor the forthcoming elections in Armenia.  

Eric Nazarian spoke about the motivation behind the creation of the initiative. “The reason why we launched “Justice Armenia” initiative is that too many people are leaving Armenia.” 
“It is easy to sit in a warm place and tell you to stay here and fight without doing anything by ourselves. That's why we are here with the hope to turn over a new page,” Nazarian added.

He notes that there is apathy in Armenia, and it prompted him to initiate something.

“One should not sell his right; your vote is your right. It is often said that the Diaspora should not be engaged in Armenia’s domestic issues, it is not true: I don’t want to feel only as a tourist here. By the way, Ayvazovski did not even see Ararat when he painted it,” Nazaryan said.

Erik Nazaryan urged the citizens to participate in the elections: “If we do not vote, someone else will vote instead of us.”

Atom Egoyan thought that the elections would “probably be falsified”.

“We have already seen evidence of election fraud, and I can clearly say that we are not here to keep Sunday's votes, we are here for the future. We should not become victims of tyranny and especially self-tyranny and despair,” Egoyan said.  

They urged to go to the elections even if no political force inspired trust.

“If your vote was not important, there would not be corruption. If there is corruption, it means that the votes matter,” Arsine Khanjian said.

To watch the video, follow the link.  

Lilit Arakelyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

To contact the author please send an email to lilitarakelyan@pjc.am.

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