Yerevan—Raffi K.Hovannisian, Armenia’s first minister of foreign affairs and current chairman of its Heritage Party, has sent the following letter to Joseph Daul, president of the European People’s Party (EPP) of which Heritage is a member.

”24 March 2017

Mr. Joseph Daul
President, European People’s Party

Dear Mr. President:

The ruling Republican party has widely distributed, on public television and elsewhere, an Armenian-language voice-over of a video message portraying your image purportedly expressing your support of—and wishing success to—it and all of its candidates in the upcoming elections.

If this does not correspond with reality, I apologize for the inconvenience and urge you immediately to set the record straight in a second video message, this time addressed to the Heritage party and the alliance of which it forms part.

If, however, the translation of the words attributed to you is correct, I must ask whether they constitute the EPP’s official position or your personal opinion.  I am obliged to add, moreover, that your overt solidarity with one sister party at the expense of the two others is a gross violation of ethical standards and an unwarranted interference into Armenia’s internal affairs.

The intervention itself as well as the content of your message are shameful for Europe and the EPP and for all those in Armenia—one of the ancient sources of European civilization—who wish to propagate European values and forge a European-modeled state and society upon our land.

What is more, as you list a variety of abiding democratic principles such as free and fair elections, the rule of law, the fight against corruption, independence of the judiciary and protection of civil rights, you are in fact endorsing the very same party (and its president) which is responsible for forging elections, for applying the law selectively and wrongfully as it (he) sees fit, for corruption, abuse of power, and conflicts of interest from the top down, for the partocratic monopolization of all spheres of public life, for the absolute subjugation of the judiciary to its (his) whims, and for persecuting and imprisoning citizens for the exercise of their freedoms of political expression, assembly, conscience, and
constitutional civic activity.  The list is long.

Once again, if the message is truly yours, it translates into a flagrant self-breach of European moral and legal benchmarks, not to mention its blatant violation of—and deleterious and prejudicial partisan impact upon—the electoral process itself, the ongoing campaign and its ultimate results, whether finally clean or once again falsified.  I trust the foregoing will be duly noted in the reports filed by domestic and international monitoring missions including your own.

You have not let Heritage down.  You have let down the Armenian voter, civil society, the EPP and its system of values, the very definition and meaning of what we have known as Europe.

Respectfully yours,

Raffi K. Hovannisian
Chairman, Heritage Party
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs
Republic of Armenia