Armenian president compares opposition rallies to TV soaps
Ayastani Anrapetutyun, Yerevan
2 Jun 04
Text of article “Kocharyan: Steps that harm the country’s image are –
if not betrayal – close to it” published by the Armenian newspaper
Ayastani Anrapetutyun on 2 June:
Armenian President Robert Kocharyan touched, inter alia, on political
matters when he gave a news conference in Gyumri. Opposition activity
was among the issues that came up, and the president said that one of
the newspapers compared opposition “rallies” to Brazilian soap operas.
“This is a very exact comparison. I do not watch Brazilian soap operas
and, as they [the rallies] are similar, I do not have the time or
the interest to spend on them.”
Kocharyan added that the rallies take place so often that they [the
slogans] could be mimed to a recording. “If that happened, they would
be taking care of their health. Maybe they have been doing this for
a long time and we simply did not think of it.”
Kocharyan was asked: “Mr President, the opposition has refused
any dialogue. In this situation, do you see a way of resolving the
domestic political crisis?” Replying, he first emphasized that there
is no domestic political crisis in Armenia.
“Crisis means a situation where state bodies cannot implement their
obligations properly. In our country this could happen when, for
instance, the coalition had problems in the National Assembly to the
extent that it was impossible to take decisions. That would really
be a crisis and our constitution has strictly defined that.
“We should make a proper assessment about the present situation. Yes,
we have a conflict between the opposition and the authorities. But
where is there not such a conflict?
“Generally, authorities-opposition relations have conflict as their
basis. The issue is whether this conflict takes place in a civilized
or non-civilized form. Both the National Assembly and the government
are working very fruitfully. Evidence of this is that the budget is
being fulfilled, debts have not accumulated and obligations are being
implemented, and serious economic growth has happened in the country.
“In this situation, the opposition can return to the parliament or
can choose not to. Life and our work will continue. Everything is
very dynamic. There is a conflict between the authorities and the
opposition, and one side in that conflict – the opposition – has
refused to take the civilized option.”
The issue of opposition activity in Strasbourg also came up during
the news conference.
“Try and strain your imagination. Can you imagine Karen Demirchyan
and Vazgen Sarkisyan working against their own country. If somebody is
able to imagine this, then there is no point in continuing an answer
to the question. Knowing them, I am sure it is impossible to imagine
such a thing. Here I mean the scale of a person.
“If people are very petty in their scale, then they work in such
a scenario against their own country not only in Strasbourg but
also elsewhere. Is this betrayal or not? I do not want to use such
terms. But one thing is evident: any step that harms the image of
the country, especially abroad, is – if not betrayal – close to it.”
As previously reported, the PACE monitoring group will be in Armenia
14-17 June to study the implementation of the demands fixed in the
PACE resolution. Kocharyan said that the purpose of the visit has
not been assessed correctly.
“They (the group) will come, have meetings and draw conclusions for
the Council of Europe.”
However, Kocharyan says that this does not mean that they will come
and we shall report to them what we have done and how.
“We should not view international organizations as higher bodies. We
have already said: we are a member-country of this organization. We
should try to present the reality: what has happened? What is the
situation in Armenia today? And the monitors should report back the
results of their investigation to the Council of Europe. If we have
shortcomings in some areas, we should try to correct them.”
The president stressed that in such matters it is necessary to use
other formulations: “We are an independent country and we should
work with our people in such a way so as not to damage the values
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress