Armenian Dashnaks offer opposition membership of security body

Armenian Dashnaks offer opposition membership of security body

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12 Apr 04

April headlined “Armen Rustamyan: The Dashnaks are ready for

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation – Dashnaktsutyun [ARFD] issued a
statement on Monday [12 April] containing a package of proposals to
the opposition.

The Dashnaks offer opposition representatives membership of the
president-affiliated Security Council headed by Defence Minister Serzh
Sarkisyan as a way out of the political turmoil in Armenia.

A member of the Dashnaktsutyun party board, Armen Rustamyan, [the
chairman of the Armenian National Assembly’s standing commission for
foreign relations] and a member of the Dashnaktsutyun parliamentary
fraction, Levon Lazarian, answered journalists’ questions.

[Journalist] Was the statement coordinated with the coalition?

[Rustamyan] This is a call for dialogue, which has already been
offered by other members of the coalition.

[Journalist] Do you view yesterday’s arrest of Republic Party member
Suren Surenyants, an attack on the head of the party’s Ararat office
and today’s detention of six opposition activists as a call for

[Lazarian] If the opposition has no intention to abandon its
ambitions of obtaining power, this should dictate the political

[Journalist] What will be Dashnaktsutyun’s actions in the event of
confrontation with people?

[Rustamyan] People do not want confrontation. The Dashnaks intend to
do their best to prevent confrontation. If we fail to avoid it, we
will consider other solutions.

[Journalist] Do you not think that this is a deadlock?

[Rustamyan] Disagreements are increasing and tomorrow we can grow even
more hostile. All possible efforts should be made to prevent any

[Journalist] If clashes occur, do you not think they can grow into a
civil war?

[Rustamyan] I do not think that confrontation can turn into a civil
war. There are some rational ideas in the opposition stance, but, at
the same time, there is a hard-line approach. The authorities consider
the opposition as a revolutionary force. In all countries, the
authorities’ main tool is the law. Our current constitution gives the
authorities sweeping powers, while opposition activists put themselves
above the law.

[Journalist] If the coalition rejects your proposals, then what will
be your attitude?

[Rustamyan] Possible agreement could speed up our country’s

[Journalist] Might you quit the coalition in case of failure to reach

[Rustamyan] We are not tied up by the current status quo. The
Dashnaktsutyun party is eager to compromise and ready to prove that
right now.

[Journalist] Asked about the idea of appointing opposition members to
any post, the defence minister said that he found it ridiculous. How
can you imagine an opposition representative in the Security Council?

[Rustamyan] Any step will be well thought out. Today’s situation needs
concessions from at least one side.

[Journalist] In what issues are you ready for compromise?

[Rustamyan] The anticorruption campaign and constitutional reforms.