Serzh Sargsyan (born June 30, 1954) is the current Prime Minister of Armenia. He won the February 2008 presidential election with the backing of the conservative Republican Party of Armenia - a party of which he serves as chairman. Conferred Order of first Degree "Martakan Khach" (Fighting Cross), Hero of Artsakh, knight of "Voske Artsiv" (Golden Eagle) order, and order of "Tigran Mets" (Great Tigran). Since 2006, he has been a member of the Republican Party of Armenia. Serzh Sargsyan was the organizer of many battles in the Nagorno-Karabakh war. He is considered to be one of the founders of Nagorno-Karabakh's and Armenian Military Forces. Sargsyan, with Kocharyan's backing, was viewed as the strongest contender for the post of the President of Armenia in the 2008 presidential election. Full provisional results showed him winning about 53% of the vote.
- Loving compatriots, at this moment, as I speak these words, our soldiers entrenched along the country’s borders are defending their homeland. In our schools, teachers are educating a whole generation and right at this moment our doctors are healing the wounds of our brothers and sisters. Today we have come together to heal another wound, a wound inflicted upon our nation’s body by these elections. We have to prevail over this trial and we must do everything for this wound to heal as soon as possible. I am saying this with pain. With pain, because I am weary of seeing only scars on our nation’s body, with pain, since the time is long overdue for our country and our people to move ahead. With pain, because some people have failed to thoroughly grasp the value of our accomplishment. The value of democracy. The value of forming the authorities through elections. The value of the opinion of the majority. Dear citizens of the Republic of Armenia, I am grateful to you for the high trust you have placed in me. I swear to do everything to justify your trust. I assure you that you will never have to regret casting your vote for Serzh Sargsyan in these elections. From this high lectern I call on the former candidates and the political forces that support them to let us co-operate. Up to and including the formation of a coalition government. It is my purpose, amongst others, to claim all constructive and foundational powers to the benefit of Armenia’s development. For me, this victory of all of us is just a beginning. The beginning of triumphs to come, victories of our state, of our entire nation. Through our joint efforts we turn the history of the Armenian people into a story of triumphs that our coming generations shall take pride in. These pages of our history, which we are writing together, shall bear witness only to victories. Today I do not see a problem of "our people" and "theirs," no issue of incumbents and opposition. The issue at stake today is that of Armenia, the permanence of our statehood, protection of our values, the protection of our upbringings, an issue we have come together here to resolve. And this is why I try to appeal to everyone, regardless of their political views and their ideological approaches: to overcome this artificial divide introduced into our nation! We have won as well against this separation. We will win. The victory will always be for Armenia's citizens. The victory will be for Armenia. Loving compatriots, I ask you not to succumb to mean-ness, because it is our sisters and brothers in the other square over there. I am certain that they were driven to the square by a desire to have a better Armenia but alas, they are no longer allowed to notice how they have been turned into an instrument of vengeful and power-hungry aspirations of a handful of people. I am aware how upset you have become these days watching everything that occurs. I know that there are many people today who are ready to go out in the street to defend their vote. I know all this very well. But I ask you to curb your temper and, if you have something to say, let it only be pleas for seeing reality and if you want to revert to action let it be by steps of kindness and tolerance. Please, always and constantly remember that, in the other square, they are our sisters and brothers. These elections have shown us that the time has come for "Ahead, Armenia!" That the time has come for tireless work and struggle against disgraceful practices against our lives. This has been very well perceived by several individuals, buried in filth up to their ears, who hurried to announce their adherence to ambiguous ideas and the launch of the so-called struggle. Today many describe these people as traitors, defectors to the camp. I, for one, have a good understanding of their rationale: they know me well, they know that I am not the kind of person to keep tolerating the conduct they have grown to consider acceptable, who will turn a blind eye to the shady aspects of our reality. They know that I shall cut the problem at its root, this brazen behavior, zorba-ic behavior, non-payment of taxes, arm-twisting and gunslinging attitudes. For those whose lives were in dark corners, there were no choices left but to flee and start verbalizing off the podium about democracy, something they are as far away from as from the worries and concerns of our people. What is most unacceptable for me in all this, dear compatriots, is the ignoble stance of a few of my friends in combat, whom the devil succeeded in tempting with promises and false words. Hypocrisy, groundless aspirations, unrealistic cravings, unfounded reasons, these are all unacceptable to me. I shall protect the right to freedom of speech. Though free speech does not license slander and foul language. I shall protect the right of free assembly. Though the freedom to hold rallies does not imply that the metropolis has to grind to a standstill. I shall protect the right to protest but the right to protest shall not mean that constitutional and other rights of our citizens have to be trampled upon. It does not mean that the right of the majority to form a government must be overridden. We are not afraid of strong opposition. On the contrary, we maintain that we may succeed in assuring our country’s progressive development only upon the existence of powerful constructive opposition. The Holy Scripture says: "There is time for everything." Today is not the time to gather stones. Today is the time to let the stones drop from our clothing. Today is not the time for spite and grudges. Today is the time for peace. Today is not the time to draw new watersheds. Today is the time for unity. Today is the time for work. Today is the time for new national victories. The time for dignity and democracy. Today is the time to overcome our disagreements and today is the time for the entire nation to say: "We are able to withstand any ordeal," and we shall. "We can move ahead fast," and we shall. "We can have the Armenia of our dreams," and I give you my word: we shall have it! So let us move ahead, ahead, towards new triumphs! Ahead, Armenia!
- [February, 2008]
- Dear colleagues, members of the prosperous Armenian party, first of all, let me thank you for support of my candidature at the presidential elections of the Republic of Armenia. Following the May parliamentary elections in our country, a new stabilized stature has been developed. Today, our country has ushered into an era of technological advancements, when current achievements oblige us to mobilize all our forces and work with a maximum effectiveness and goal-orientation. Therefore, our goal is a single one, namely: to rally around our values, to be proud of our achievements and to be confident with the future. This is the way in which Armenia can move ahead. Armenia should improve more than the previous day. All of us should constantly remember this. All of us should remember the logic of a better Armenia, a safer Armenia, a prosperous Armenia, and a powerful Armenia. I wish all of us all the success in our future efforts. Let there be an atmosphere of kindness and tolerance throughout all our undertakings. I am thankful...and onward to a new Armenia, onward to a prosperous Armenia.
- [December 20, 2007]
- If I ask for money from someone...anyone else...if I ask my opponent...right then and there, I would be a weak person. But, personal falsified ambitions cannot be brought onto the nation. My entire life's mission has been to serve my country. I want you all to trust that the most important thing for me...the most important victory for me will be the victory of my country. We still have the ability to become wiser and it is our duty to be organized and go ahead, it is our duty to go ahead toward a better Armenia, and altogether, "Ahead, Armenia!" Thank you. Thank you.
- I deem we have still much to do and will of course strive for stabilizing the situation in the country and continuing reforms. I am confident in success. All we need at this point is public order.
- [March 7, 2008]
- I would like to stress once more that what we had foreseen some months ago actually happened, but we did not manage to prevent it, thus...since we could not prevent it, then we are guilty.
- [March 6, 2008]
- This is not a promise, this is a duty which I have to carry out.
- [March 6. 2008]
- The planned scene still goes on, they try to smear Armenians and Armenian authorities, and we should try hard to prove that it is a terribly planned project, and that the organizers are on the wrong direction. You might have listened that the situation is worse in our borders. Today in the morning, the Azeri soldiers attacked one of our military bases, and probably they managed to occupy the position. Through some bodies we offered the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan to withdraw, but we were refused. I would like to inform you that at the moment the position is under our control. and the opposite side withdrew. Disrespectful of their former positions, disrespectful of their present positions, they should stand in court and we should put a full stop to such violence and disorder in Armenia.
- [March 5, 2008]
- Yes I am a Karabakhian, but I am an Armenian first.
- Maybe he believes three years is enough when it comes to the giving up of Karabakh...maybe that's what he was saying...for me it was very strange. Just very...strange thoughts were heard at that meeting. And each and every person was speaking for themselves when it came to what should be done and what ideas they had. But, in no way is it possible to place holes in people's eyesight, if anyone is trying to prove the unprovable...if anyone is trying to say that today we are worse off than ten years ago...that is no longer my problem, that is the person's problem...because you cannot close everyone's eyes.
- On the occasion of your election as President of Armenia, I write to extend to you my sincere congratulations and best wishes for success in discharge of your responsible duties. I am certain that the years ahead will be characterized by the continuing deepening of our bilateral ties, established on a firm foundation of mutual understanding and friendship.
- [letter sent by Serbian president Boris Tadic]
- From the bottom of my heart, I congratulate you on your election to the highly responsible post of President of Republic Armenia. The people of Armenia trusted in you because having gone through many ordeals in the past they now cherish sincere hopes for a better life under leadership. You are taking up the whole charge of highest public authority, therefore you must keep in mind the great responsibility of a governor before the people, history and Supreme God who disposes human destinies. Your election instills the hope that through joint efforts, we can overcome all transient hardships and privations, and the fruitful interaction between our two countries’ spiritual and secular leaderships will promote the strengthening of stability and prosperity not only in Armenia and Russia, but also throughout the Southern Caucasus. Considering your wide experience and professionalism which were convincingly shown during the past years of your State service, I hope for the development of fruitful cooperation which will aim the creation of a spiritually strong and morally sound society, the strengthening of peace and harmony between countries and peoples. I wish you, dear Serzh Azati, moral fortitude and physical strength, may God bless you in your future activities in the high office of President of the Republic Armenia for the good of the Armenian people.
- [letter sent by Patriarch of Moscow and Russia, Alexy II]
- Please accept my congratulations and best wishes in connection with your election as President of the Republic Armenia. Your activity on this high post shall serve the further strengthening of allied relationship between our countries. I wish you, Mr. President, robust health and success in your activity, as well as...well-being, peace and prosperity...to the people of Armenia.
- [letter sent by Chairman of the State Duma of RF Federal Assembly Boris Gryzlov]
- Dear President-Elect Serzh Sargsyan, please accept my warm congratulations on your election as Armenia's 3rd President. My hope is that, by encouraging investments and creating new jobs, you will succeed in improving the economy of Armenia. May God give you strength and determination to carry out all of your plans for the good of the Armenian nation.
- [letter sent by Kirk Kerkorian]
- I hope your new position...will permit the creation of the necessary environment for normalizing relations between the Turkish and Armenian peoples, who have proven over centuries they can live together in peace and concord. I sincerely wish that... an atmosphere based on reciprocal trust and cooperation can be established that will contribute to regional peace and prosperity.
- [letter sent by president Abdullah Gul]
- You are a special leader. We support you in principle. The U.S. Charge d’Affaires in Armenia and I...believe that you have the kind of vision and approaches that we want to see in the implementation of joint programs. We want you to succeed and we want Armenia to succeed.
- [Matthew Bryza, March 7, 2008]
- We trust Serzh Sargsyan and believe that Armenia will be stronger and more developed under his rule.
- [Gor Vardanyan, February 13, 2008]
- We look forward to the parliamentary elections on May 12 and hope that you will help ensure that these elections are free and fair, meet international standards, and bolster the relations between our two countries.
- [George W. Bush, April 17, 2007]
- Serzh, today you have been elected as Armenia's president. I don't know whether to be proud of you or feel awkward. Remember, back in 1972 to 1979, we went to school together in Armenia. It's most likely that there are very few in Armenia right now who have something good to say about you, but I can say some good things about you. You were a good friend, devoted, caring, honest, I remember nothing negative in those years. And today when I see our people, with this much hatred towards you...this much...vengeance towards you...I don't understand what is going on, I'm sorry...and I see what has happened now...Kocharyan and your years of leadership...why couldn't you create that connection between yourselves and the people, I only want to have hope that you will put your past mistakes behind you, and as an Armenian brother, you will think about your people...I am begging you as a sister would, talk to the people, write to them, explain what has happened. The last time I had seen you was in the 90's, up until '93, when I was returning to Karabakh, and I was seeing you equipped with your weapon, you were always aiding me, for minor things, such as...listening to soldiers, so friendly, so nice...oh what has happened...what evil demon has taken over you? Why aren't you thinking about your people? I am congratulating you for your presidential victory, but with a broken spirit, and crying, and praying to God so that our race will finally get together, get organized, and our so-called businessmen would have some sympathy inside, caring for this race, and to do that which is honest.
- [Anahid Paitian, February 2008]