Date: April 19, 2013
Reverend Father Vahram Melikyan, Chief Spokesman of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, described American-Armenian reporter Ara Manoogian’s article, to which Epress.am referred yesterday, as “absolute nonsense”.
In the article, Ara Manoogian says that voter bribes were given during the election of the Catholicos of All Armenians in 1999; and Manoogian’s uncle, the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Torkom II Manoogian, had brought up the issue during a conversation with Karekin II.
Presenting the official opinion of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and the Catholicos of All Armenians in a message to Epress.am, Fr. Vahram Melikyan states that “it is an overly mean step on the part of the author of the article and disrespect toward the memory of the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Torkom II Manoogian”.
Epress.am tried to find out from Fr. Vahram Melikyan whether a conversation did take place between Patriarch Torkom II and the Catholicos of All Armenians about election fraud. According to the Chief Spokesman, there has been no such conversation, “especially with regard to such a fake and imaginary topic”.
“Whoever has information on how the elections of the Catholicos of All Armenians are organized and held, would hardly have concerns about the electoral fraud and the voting process”, added Fr. Vahram Melikyan.
Then we wondered what he thought was Ara Manoogian’s purpose to raise such an issue. The Catholicos’ spokesman suggested that we ask the reporter.