Shavarsh Kocharian: The People Aren’t Guilty

By Nana Petrosian

AZG Armenian Daily #151

Local Politics

If the political forces of Armenia run in the presidential election
of Armenia in its present shape, the election of Serge Sargsyan
will be predetermined, said the leader of the National Democratic
Party Shavarsh Kocharyan at August 22 press conference in "Friday"
pres club. According to him, the fact that the election of Serge
Sargsyan might be hindered by uncertainty over the future of President
Kocharyan and thereof the controversy between the president and the
prime minister. Robert Kocharyan is said to want to be prime minister
who will have real powers thanks to the amended Constitution. Robert
Kocharyan and Serge Sargsyan have not come to agreement yet, stated
the leader of the Democratic Way Party Manuk Gasparyan a few days
ago who also had lost the parliamentary election. The leader of the
National Democratic Party disagrees. "These two persons are bound
to each other with the same chain and cannot abandon each other. It
is impossible. Simply there is a problem related to the third term,
the amendments to the Constitution.

The problem is who the first is and who the second is who are tied
with the same chain. This is the problem.

In any case, these two persons cannot have adversarial
relations. However, it predetermined to some extent the political
developments in the previous period, before the elections and to some
extent after the election because besides the common interest there is
a problem to decide who the first is." As to the ARF Dashnaktsutyun’s
statement to name president, which some people think is Robert
Kocharyan’s weapon against Serge Sargsyan, Shavarsh Kocharyan advises
not to waste time on looking for deep-lying plans. According to him,
Dashnaktsutyun realizes that this government is provisional, and wants
to boost its importance not to lose after the presidential election
of 2008 what it got after May 12, 2007.

The leader of the National Democratic Party Shavarsh Kocharyan
describes the home political situation in Armenia with one phrase
"genre crisis". The means has replaced the end, in other words, the
government which is a means of solving problems has become an end in
itself for both the opposition and the government.

According to the leader of the National Democratic Party, the
programs and ideas are ignored, and the issue of personalities
is set forward. They blame people but Shavarsh Kocharyan thinks
people are not to blame. "In fact, people have always responded to
the positive moves the political sphere has ever suggested. It may
sound a little unexpected, but if we try to describe the entire
political sphere, it is oppositionist. It opposes to people,"
says the leader of the National Democratic Party. According to him,
everyone in the political sphere is led by narrow, personal, family
and clan interests. The consequence, according to Kocharyan, is the
parties are shrinking, and cannot keep the necessary organizations
to influence the society. According to Shavarsh Kocharyan, only
the government parties have this possibility because they have
money. Shavarsh Kocharyan points to a few circumstances with regard
to the upcoming presidential election. According to him, the first
is the overestimation of the post of president. Meanwhile, after the
amendments to the Constitution the president’s powers were shortened.

"Second, the election of a president does not mean a change of
government. Even if he represents another political force than
the parliament majority, he either will have to adjust to and work
with the majority or the majority which holds all the levers will
isolate him." With regard to the presidential candidates, he says
they should be counted in fall like the chicken. He is skeptical
about the quest of the opposition for a common candidate. He says
the problem of personalities underlies this quest rather than new
approaches. The leader of the NDU does not rule out his participation
in the meetings of the opposition leaders but he says again that
without a deep analysis of the previous failures and a change in
quality and consciousness everything ends up in the Olympic principle
that participation is important of all. "You know the theory of
relativity. The faster the object moves, the bigger its weight
is. I mean we need to move on to increase our weight. Meanwhile,
the questions that are asked all the time refer to the weight of the
political figures who make no headway," says Shavarsh Kocharyan. He
adds that a constellation of dead stars gives no light and heat.

"It does not occur to anyone what they will be doing if they are
elected," said Shavarsh Kocharyan, He spoke about the developments
related to the presidential election of 2008, namely the expediency
of nomination of Levon Ter-Petrosyan. "Why does he return? What is
his program? One thing is evident to all of us. We remember from his
speeches and moves that he will return Karabakh. What else will he
be doing? Nobody asks this question," Shavarsh Kocharyan says. He
is sensitive about the argument the proponents of Ter-Petrosyan’s
return offer. "They say if he comes, the government will divide, and
part of the government will support him and thereby opportunities
will rise. What does it mean? It means that part of the opposition
completely ignores people and relies on a suggested divide in the
government which would enable them to put up their representative,"
Shavarsh Kocharyan says. Meanwhile, he says the problem is that
presently the government of Robert Kocharyan and Serge Sargsyan serves
best the clans, the oligarchs who hold real power and underlie the
government of Kocharyan and Sargsyan. Shavarsh Kocharyan thinks the
arguments for Ter-Petrosyan’s return imply that Ter-Petrosyan will
serve the clans better. The leader of the National Democratic Party
is convinced that this is a message of the apologists of the return
of the first president to the clans