Levon Ter-Petrossian

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Levon Ter-Petrossian

Levon Ter-Petrossian (born January 9, 1945), sometimes transliterated Levon Ter-Petrosyan, was the President of Armenia from 1991 to 1998. Because of many economic and political problems, he resigned on February 3, 1998 and was succeeded by Robert Kocharyan. Since his resignation, Ter-Petrossian rarely appeared in public and avoided contact with the media, although there were speculations that he would run for the office of president of Armenia in the general election in February 2003. He officially announced his candidacy in the 2008 presidential election in a speech in Yerevan on October 26 2007. He accused Kocharyan's government of massive corruption, Police began forcefully breaking up the protests on March 1, and Kocharyan declared a state of emergency. On the same day, Ter-Petrossian said that he was being held under house arrest.


  • Struggle...struggle...to the end!
  • People were sleeping quietly. [Security forces] came in large numbers with truncheons and started beating. At that time I was near the microphone and I called on people to stay calm. Security forces didn't start the beating immediately. First they stood in front of people and I urged people not to get in contact with them and to stay quiet to see what they want. But nobody told us anything, nothing was negotiated. And they suddenly attacked people with truncheons and electric stun guns.
    • [March 2, 2008]
  • We protected Artsakh. This problem...at this moment...is solved...better conditions, better protection, have never existed in Artsakh before. We have also stabilized Armenia's security. Our government's most important factor. Keeping in mind that aggressive part of the world where Armenia is located. We solved the issue of security by following it. Armenia was the first government which decided to deal with others willingly. When Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Ukraine were hurrying to team with Russian forces, they were blaming us, criticizing, and cursing...that we weren't doing the same. That we were not creating an Armenian military. Slowly, events led to this day that Azerbaijan and Georgia don't have a military, but Armenia has a military of 60,000.
    • [1994]
  • I wouldn't fix one problem...I'd like to fix at least ten problems. For example, a better comprehension...when it comes to elections for heads of state. One. A more aggressive representation of not only myself but the entire government...positively influencing the economic situation. We have had, yes, mistakes...and careless maneuvers...you know, I won't point out one mistake, I'll mention ten.
    • [1997]
  • If the aim of the current Armenian authorities was to disgrace the country, then they can be congratulated, this was clearly achieved.
    • [January 28, 1999]
  • We are on the our way to a free market economy. Regardless of the mistakes and omissions, the government has managed to implement a firm and consistent economic policy. Regardless of how incomplete it still is, the transition to free market relations and democracy has become irreversible.
    • [May 21, 1997]
  • Armenia stands firm on gaining full political independence.
    • [October 17, 1991]
  • The government bodies known to you have presented me a resignation demand. Taking into account that the execution of the constitutional power of the president in the situation that has been created could pose serious danger to the stability of the country, I accept that demand and announce my resignation.
    • [forced resignation in February 1998]
  • After having wasted so many years, the current authorities of Armenia have quietly and secretly agreed to a plan that they had diligently presented as defeatist and treacherous in the past.
  • They [Kocharyan and Sargsyan] are happy with themselves. They got what they wanted.
    • [about Kocharyan's decision to declare a state of emergency and unleash the army on the protestors]
  • Because of these two persons [Kocharyan and Sargsyan], 15,000 people have moved from Karabakh to Armenia, mainly Yerevan, in the past 10 years. Each of them has been given a position. As if that wasn’t enough, now the business sphere is also being given to them.
  • More and more, I am becoming convinced that truly I have a created a problem and have made a mistake. Although very late, with all honesty...I am asking for forgiveness from all of you, it was my fault for bringing Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan and allowing them to choke your necks. If this was my mistake, then I am truly sorry. Wait, this was more than a mistake. This was a tragedy that I brought into the lives of my people. So...so please allow me, allow me to help save you from that crisis.
    • [November 16, 2007]
  • 16 years...a very short and very long time, when it comes to Armenia's history.
    • [September 21, 2007]
  • I cannot go forward based on emotions. Until I know the results of my actions, I will not go a step forward.
    • [about running for president again]
  • The people who killed your sacred heads of state, the heads of Karen Demirchyan and Vazgen Sargsyan, want to maintain forever that foundation built on the spilling of blood.
    • [January 24, 2008]
  • Where are they taking us? Where is Serzh Sargsyan taking us? I know where. He's going to take you all, our people, our entire nation...to the Monte Carlo casino...and right there waste us all.
    • [about Serzh Sargsyan's expensive visits and heavy losses at casinos]
  • I have not come to beg for voices, that's Serzh's job...because in Armenia, he has no voice.
    • [January 21, 2008]
  • In these elections, you will also be able to lose the shame. In 1998, choosing Karen Demirchyan. In 2003, choosing Stepan Demirchyan. And consider this victory, a victory for all three of us in addition to a victory for Vazgen Sargsyan.
    • [2008]

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