Karen Demirchyan

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Karen Demirchyan (April 17, 1932October 27, 1999) was an Armenian (and Soviet Union) communist and later independent politician, Armenian Communist Party first secretary from 1974 to 1988. Soon after his reemergence into active politics in independent Armenia in the late 1990s, he became speaker of the Armenian parliament in 1999. Demirchyan was elected first secretary of the Armenian Communist Party in November 1974, effectively the boss of Soviet Armenia. Two years later he also became chairman of the Armenian Supreme Soviet. He later formed the People's Party, teaming up with defence minister Vazgen Sargsyan to form the Miasnutyun (Unity) alliance to contest the May 1999 parliamentary elections. Demirchyan was overwhelmingly elected speaker in June 1999, four months before he, Sargsyan and other senior politicians were assassinated.


  • If Kocharyan wins honestly, I will shake him by the hand tonight.
    • March 30, 1998. Quoted in article "Armenians await election result" - BBC News.
  • Terrorism has no motherland and terrorists have no nationality.
    • October 20, 1999. Quoted in article, "Russian premier says Armenia supports Russia's anti-terrorism policy" - BBC News.
  • I will fight for really fair elections. I think they will be fair.
    • May 30, 1999. Quoted in "Armenian ex-communist leader Demirchyan confident of fair elections" - BBC Archive.
  • The relations between Armenia and Russia are developing dynamically and in the right direction. The two countries often hold the same position on many events and there is no serious disagreement.
    • October 20, 1999. Quoted in "Armenian speaker praises Russian-Armenian relations" - BBC Archive.
  • I used to work in this building for years and on returning here I intend to do everything possible to secure normal human life for the Armenian people.
    • June 10, 1999. Quoted in "New Armenian speaker emphasizes human factor" - BBC Archive.
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