Dashnaktsoutyun Ready To Cooperate

Lilit Poghosyan

Hayots Ashkharh Daily Newspaper
22 Aug 2007

But only around its own candidate

After Dashnaktsutyun declared its intention to run for Presidency
with its own candidate, it willy-nilly appeared in the focus of
the heated pre-electoral discussions. What is the ARF activists’
attitude towards all kinds of possible and impossible formats and the
circulating rumors on the "pivotal" role vested in Dashnaktsutyun
in that connection. ARTASHES SHAHBAZYAN, Secretary of the ARF
Parliamentary faction gives answers to our questions.

"We have already announced that the Supreme Assembly of the ARFD
Armenian organization will be held in mid-September, and it will make
a decision on participating in the Presidential elections. The matter
is addressed to the nomination of concrete candidates, because the
fundamental that we will run for elections with our party candidate
has already been made."

"Is it possible for Dashnaktsutyun to nonetheless change its mind
and decide to support another candidate? I mean, in particular, the
possible ARFD -‘Heritage’ cooperation, establishing the ARFD-Vazgen
Manoukyan union and other probable and fantastic alliances?

"Dashnaktsutyun may or may not cooperate with other factions. I
wouldn’t like to specifically single out one or two political factions;
there are different parties that can cooperate with us. But because our
decision is firm, it must be clear from now on that such cooperation
will be around one candidate only. That’s to say, if other political
factions sharing similar ideas with us and accepting our programs
express willingness to join us, we’ll be pleased to discuss that

"However, according to the rumors circulating in the political
‘couloirs’, it is not ruled out for some X activist to join
Dashnaktsutyun and become your candidate during the Presidential

"What you say is an example from our life, but if it is something
acceptable for others, it is not absolutely characteristic of
Dashnaktsutyun. Therefore, I rule out that possibility. No surprises
of that kind are possible inside Dashnaktsutyun. It is not our style.

With regard to the fact that the issue of Dashnaktsutyun’s running
for elections with its own candidate is actively discussed in society
and among political factions, it should, in my opinion, be considered

Because, it is not a secret that Dashnaktsutyun is the political
faction which can introduce its powerful machine in the pre-electoral
activity in case of appearing on the scene. And it can be a strong
rival for all the political forces, including both the pro-Government
and the pro-Opposition factions. This is, probably, one of the reasons
that many of them consider Dashnaktsutyun a very serious potential
rival. Or, they consider that their playing-cards will mix up and
they will have limited chances, with Dashnaktsutyun joining the game."

"’Rule of Law’ once tried to act on behalf of the Opposition,
while forming part of the Government, but it didn’t seem to be a
success. Don’t you have fears that Dashnaktsutyun may also suffer
losses as a result of the pro-Opposition ‘games’?"

"I don’t think such comparison proper. ‘Rule of Law’ tried to go
beyond the cooperation framework established in the circle of the
coalition agreements in advance. We haven’t changed our horses
in the middle of our way, or, as they say, during the process. The
difference is great. Therefore, there’s no need to look for something
extraordinary here.

On the contrary, let’s also consider this a manifestation of
democracy. We are on the way of establishing that culture in our
country and, I believe, we should have a balanced attitude towards
the fact that two political factions that have entered the Parliament
may act as rivals. After all, political factions do not get married
to one another; they achieve a political agreement. I don’t think
this should cause the political forces to break off with one another.

In this respect, neither the pro-Government nor the pro-Opposition
factions should be offended from us just because we have decided
to run for elections with a candidate of our own considering our
interests and based upon our calculations."

"Dashnaktsutyun could have run for elections with a candidate of its
own in the past as well, however it didn’t do so."

"Perhaps, one of the reasons is that we feel stronger and more
self-confident now. In 1998, when the country was in a state of
crisis and encirclement, Robert Kocharyan introduced his reform and
development program which is acceptable for us as a strategy. Moreover,
we have submitted our proposals, and they have been approved and
included in the future President’s pre-election program. We have also
approved the program of the current Government and Prime Minister,
of course, with some reservations. And we consider pursuing the same
policy extremely important.

But we are not quite satisfied with the Government’s attitude towards a
great number of problems that exist. For instance, there is the problem
of shadow economy, the high rate of corruption, the atmosphere of
impunity which has taken more and more dangerous manifestations during
the recent years, as well as issues regarding democracy etc. These
are issues with regard to which we consider Dashnaktsutyun’s programs
and approaches more effective and more radical in comparison with
the policy implemented currently. That’s why, we want to run for
elections with our own candidate and implement our own programs.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS