06, 2009

President Serzh Sargsyan attended the official ceremony of swearing in the first elected Mayor of Yerevan

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Today, President Serzh Sargsyan attended the official ceremony of swearing in the first elected Mayor of Yerevan, which took place during the City Council meeting:



Address by President Serzh Sargsyan at the swearing in ceremony of the mayor of Yerevan

Your Holiness,
Distinguished members of the City Council,
Mr. Beglarian,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

I congratulate the newly elected Mayor and the members of the Yerevan City Council. As the President of the Republic of Armenia and a citizen of Yerevan, I am glad that the supreme body for the capital’s administration, which will be working for the benefit of Yerevan, has been formed. I wish you ardor, vigor and efficient work. I hope you’ll meet the expectations and hopes of those who elected you, and will not disappointed us, your supporters.

I believe, we have emerged from these elections with three important conclusions:
First, we can and from now will conduct good elections, where bad practices will be gradually uprooted, where political forces will be able to conduct civilized struggle. These elections have been an instructive example and we must draw lessons, we must be absolutely ready for the next important elections, to conduct them on the highest level and receive our people’s and international community’s assessment that they are not “partly” but mostly, or entirely correspond to international standards.
Second, any encroachment on the right of the citizens of the
Republic of Armenia, any violation or infringement will not go unpunished or remain unanswered. The constitutional right of people to form government through elections must become the uncontested principle in our system of values. Violations will not be tolerated, regardless of who commit them – a member of the election commission or an ordinary voter.
Third, we will be able to achieve success when we spearhead the efforts of all those interested in Armenia’s further democratization and strengthening, when we set a concrete goal, and speak the same language of cooperation and mutual understanding.

Our goal is to strengthen participatory democracy in Armenia so that elections become not a special time of political tension, not a test for our state and statehood but rather a test for the maturity for our authorities and political forces and a test for the essentiality of their programs.

Dear Friends,

I expect much from the newly elected Mayor. It is obvious, that due to the constitutional changes he will be having much fewer leverages of making unilateral decisions that the previous Mayors. However, it doesn’t imply that the share of the Mayor’s responsibility or his role will shrink. And because of that we, the residents of Yerevan expect a new work style.

In today’s reality, after the introduction of constitutional changes, in my understanding the Mayor should be not just an administrator but a leader,
who is responsible for the success and failures alike,
who understands that to lead means to serve,
who attests to each his word by his daily activities, and fulfills every promise,
who influences everyday life in Yerevan first and foremost by his clout and personal example,
who demands law and order and who himself honors all the laws from driving regulations to the most important decisions,
who talks to the people, who is with the people, and who loves the residents of Yerevan with all his heart and soul.

Workload cannot be an excuse for keeping away from the people. Who said that going often into the streets, chatting with the grandpas gathered in the backyard on “what’s up” is not an important job? Workload can be blamed but isn’t it the most important duty of the Mayor of Yerevan to be loved and respected leader by the Yerevaniens?

I believe that Mr. Beglarian can become such a Mayor.

I also have great expectations from the newly elected City Council.
Yerevan’s significance for Armenia and for the entire Armenian nations is great indeed. For that reason any problem related to the development of the capital – construction or ecological – always commands keen attention. The newly elected City Council encounters truly difficult tasks, the resolution of which will demand hard work and new approaches.

The members of the Council have been elected by the people for whom Yerevan is dear home, who love their city and who are concerned with its problems. You will be successful in your work if you are guided by that love. Those who love Yerevan cannot harm the city, those who love Yerevan will shower the capital with love, and love always brings only good things. Consumerism toward Yerevan, toward its buildings, parks and squares means to grab whatever is possible without giving anything in return. It’s high time to pay back. Yerevan expects you to be caring like a parent but also revering like a son. Yerevan has formed a special culture of interaction and relations which is emblematic for our city. There are, indeed, nice traditions which are worth while preserving, however there are also ugly traditions, which make us no honor and which go on by the habit. There are traditions, which must be eliminated, for instance the way our pedestrians cross the streets. These are not trifles; city culture and being a citizen start here. In recent months, I have been making car tours of Yerevan in late hours and with minimal escort. In my opinion, the attitude of the drivers regarding traffic regulations has changed significantly, but unfortunately, the attitude of the pedestrians has not changed a bit. Sometimes, I witness bizarre incidents, when a pedestrian is attempting to cross the street in its most busy part with the utmost negligence and is blaming the driver sometime with a remark such as “why are you driving right on here?” I want to repeat that these are not trifles, such attitude should become a matter of serious work for us. We shall not link the solution of the city problems with political views or ideological differences. There is a goal and there are differences on the methods of achieving that goal. It will only benefit the process of reaching the goal and Yerevan will benefit too. Yerevan is the capital of an independent state, and the agenda of its development must be driven by that comprehension. The capital is the business card of any country, a unique reflection of its image. I am confident that the long-term resolution of the capital’s problems will also change the image of our country for the better not in the least because changes taking place in Yerevan always have their influence on the situation in the marzes.

Mr. Mayor,
Distinguished members of the City Council,
I congratulate you once again and call upon you to work diligently. I wish you all the best.

Thank you.

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