President of the European People's Party (EPP) Wilfried Martens was surprised to hear the criticism of Armenian Heritage party leader Raffi Hovannisian, who said that by congratulating Serzh Sargsyan, Wilfried Martens broke his function as EPP president, violating the principle of democracy. Hovannisian also said that his party may reconsider its membership with EPP in view of its leader's behaviour.
The EPP President expressed his astonishment in a conversation with Azatutyun Radio in Brussels. Before the interview, Martens had held a meeting with Armenian president.
"I am very surprised by Raffi Hovannisian's words. Several weeks before the presidential election in Armenia, I went to Yerevan where I also met with the leader of the Heritage party. He was very polite with me and everything seemed to be all right. The International observers gave a clear evaluation, this election recorded real progress as compared with the previous ones. Of course, not all recommendations have been met but the progress was considerable and it would be incorrect to say that the election was rigged."
Ahead of yesterday's meeting between Serzh Sargsyan and Wilfried Martens, the Heritage party addressed an open letter to the head of Europe's most influential party, saying ‘the presidential election was massively rigged, with Serzh Sargsyan attempting to steal the victory by ballot stuffing, multiple voting and other methods.'
Hovannisian said that the EPP president should reconsider his approach to Sargsyan's victory or else ‘give an answer to the EPP member parties for his behaviour.'
"If his behaviour becomes the EPP's collective opinion, then yes, I think that Heritage will consider quitting the EPP, but before that we will make every effort for the EPP to remain committed to its own standards and values," stressed the Armenian opposition leader," Hovaannisian had said.
The EPP convened its recurrent summit on March 14 in Brussels, which was attended by Armenian and Georgian Presidents.
Both Heritage and Serzh Sargsyan's Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) are members of the EPP.