Armenian paper says authorities in search for “stabilizing factor”

Armenian paper says authorities in search for “stabilizing factor”

Aravot, Yerevan
6 Apr 04

Text of unattributed report by Armenian newspaper Aravot on 6 April
headlined “Stabilizing factors”

The only thing that is “stable” in our country is the authorities’
arsenal of propaganda cliches. For 12 years there have been two
counter-arguments to any activation of the opposition: a) such
activation is advantageous to Azerbaijan and increases chances to
resume hostilities; b) activation could threaten stability and hinder
investment, economic development, etc.

The first argument can hardly stand up to criticism. There were
moments in the history of independent Armenia when even during the war
the opposition (including Dashnaktsutyun which is “a supporter of
stability”) was fighting against the authorities in a more aggressive
way, but in spite of that, success was registered on the
battlefield. Undoubtedly, today there is a danger of war, but it has
nothing to do with the mass demonstrations being held in Armenia.

One may agree with the second argument. Reasons and effects have
simply been confused there. The situation is really unstable and
tense, but there is one reason for this: unfortunately, in 2003
President Robert Kocharyan was not re-elected to the post of
president. (By the way, he was not elected in 1998 either, but the
results of those elections were in some sense corrected by the
parliamentary elections, in which voters really voted for the Unity
bloc, trusting [late Armenian Speaker] Karen Demirchyan’s legend. The
parliamentary elections of 2003 corrected nothing, as the rating of
the coalition parties was as low as the president’s.)

So, the situation is tense because Robert Kocharyan was not elected,
and it will remain tense irrespective of the opposition’s
activation. This is the diagnosis of the present situation.

What are the ways to relieve tension?

1. The president tenders his resignation, though this is ruled out.

2. A revolution takes place, which is impossible.

3. A palace revolution takes place, as was the case in 1998. This is a
theoretically possible option, but preconditions for it have not yet
been noticed.

4. The National Assembly is dissolved and new “more pleasant for the
people” parliamentary elections are held, as for instance, [leader of
the Christian Democratic Union] Khosrov Arutyunyan suggests. This is
also a possible option but it will hardly be carried out.

So, we may suppose that the status quo will be preserved by means of
arrests and “police” violence. It cannot be ruled out that some
“cosmetic” changes will be simultaneously made. For example, a new
prime minister and government may be appointed. In 1997, Robert
Kocharyan was invited from Karabakh to Yerevan as “a stabilizing
factor”. But first, experience shows that this kind of “stabilizing
factors” very quickly turn into “power changing factors”, and second,
we have not so far noticed a new Robert Kocharyan.