Attack on Armenian politician aimed to escalate tension, president says
26 Apr 04
“I think that there is a certain third player in power-opposition
relations whose name we do not know yet,” Armenian President Robert
Kocharyan has said in an interview with Armenian Public TV, commenting
on the recent attack on Ashot Manucharyan. Manucharyan is a member of
the political council of the Armenian Socialist Forces and the former
Armenian interior minister and advisor on national security under
Armenian ex-President Levon Ter-Petrosyan.
Robert Kocharyan noted that nobody doubts that today the country’s
authorities especially need peace and political stability. Nobody
doubts that what happened to Ashot Manucharyan by no means facilitates
the abovementioned goals. A question arises – Who benefited from this?
The head of the state asked the question and answered it immediately –
Definitely, not the authorities. The incident that involved Ashot
Manucharyan was a good reason for the opposition to once again accuse
the authorities. Moreover, Ashot Manucharyan did not play an active
role in the recent domestic political events, he was not among the
radical opposition. On the contrary, he considered himself to be a
restrained politician, he met writer Zoriy Balayan and presidential
advisor Garnik Isagulyan and even “as far as I know, the president of
the Nagornyy Karabakh Republic, Arkadiy Gukasyan. All the
abovementioned well-known people informed me that Ashot Manucharyan
played the role of a restrictive factor among the opposition of the
country. Hence, another question arises – Who needs this?” Robert
Kocharyan repeated his question.
He said that there was an impression that someone had organized the
incident during an interval between [opposition] rallies to kick up a
fuss and escalate the tension. That was the goal of the incident, the
Armenian president noted.