New Coalition Still Withholds Contents Of Its Agreement

By Ruzanna Khachatrian

Radio Liberty, Czech Rep.
June 14 2007

Leading representatives of Armenia’s coalition appear to be withholding
the contents of the agreement by which they shared power and agreed
on cooperation in the next five years last week.

The originals of the agreement signed between two pro-establishment
forces — Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia
(HHK) and wealthy businessman Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia
Party (BHK) — on forming a governing coalition and the separate
cooperation deal of the two with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation
Dashnaktsutyun (ARF) are presumably kept in the safe at President
Robert Kocharian’s administration.

The two parties of the new coalition do not appear to hold copies
of the agreements, with very few people confessing that they have
actually seen the original document and are familiar with its contents.

Not a single lawmaker approached by RFE/RL could provide even the
copy of the document for publication.

Meanwhile, the parties signing the agreement last Wednesday in the
absence of the media agreed to have the document later published in
the media.

While, the ARF has published the contents of its agreement with the
two-party coalition on its official newspaper’s website, HHK and
BHK spokespersons have referred RFE/RL to the government or party
leadership for information.

Parliament Speaker Tigran Torosian of the HHK and his deputy Ishkhan
Zakarian of the BHK, who had personally put their signatures to
the document, were not available for comment as of the hour of the

Deputy Parliament Speaker Vahan Hovannisian of the ARF confirmed
that his party members had seen the document. "In general we are,
of course, familiar with this document," he said, however refusing
to make any comments regarding its publication. Hovannisian wouldn’t
be drawn either on whether there was anything in the document the
publication of which was deemed unadvisable.

Aram Safarian, the secretary of the BHK’s parliamentary faction, was
the only lawmaker representing a coalition member party who agreed
to talk about the issue on the record.

"I am familiar with the details. The chairman of our party as well
as deputy speaker of parliament Ishkhan Zakharian presented these
details to us. But I haven’t seen the document myself," he said.

One coalition party representative promised to provide RFE/RL with
a copy of the coalition agreement next week.

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