Which Side To Take?

WHICH SIDE TO TAKE?
Lilit Poghosyan

Hayots Ashkhar Daily
Published on June 20, 2008
Armenia

This Is The Problem

The NA temporary committee investigating March 1 developments convened
its regular session yesterday to clarify which extra-parliamentary
forces will be invited to participate in the works of the newly formed
instance with the right to a consultative vote.

As the Head of the Committee Samvel Nikoyan informed us during the
press conference, three extra-parliamentary forces were chosen:
United Labor Party, "National Unity" and "Nor Jamanakner". In case
the before mentioned parties accept the proposal, they must send one
representative each to have their role in the investigation of March
1 tragedy.

By the prescribed manner the committee has sent three letters to
the before mentioned 3 parties, waiting for their response. Why
did they give preference to the parties that have overcome the 3%
barrier? Because according to the speaker: "in other case the election
would have been a bit willful.

The committee has sent an "invitation" for cooperation to the
presidential candidates, but, not the self-nominated ones but those
who have been nominated by the initiative of certain parties. The
conversation is about the leader of the People’s Party Tigran
Karapetyan, leader of the National Democratic Party Vazgen Manukyan and
leader of "National Unanimity" Aram Harutyunyan, who can participate
in the works of the committee, personally or by their representatives.

The procedure of Ter-Petrosyan’s "invitation" is enshrined in the
decision with a special point.

"To solve the issue of the participation of the civil society" the
committee has addressed a letter to the President of the Republic,
asking him to nominate a candidate from the staff of the Public Council
to participate in the committee with the status of an "invited".

Secretary of RPA faction didn’t exclude that Victor Dallakyan will
be this candidate; even though he has publicly announced that he is
not going to participate in the works of the committee investigating
March 1 tragedy.

As regards ‘Heritage" party, in fact, they boycott the works
of the committee, and propose to involve Myasnik Malkhasyan and
Sasus Mikaelyan in the "case". The latter, by the way, are under
detention. Anyhow, in his response S. Nikoyan urges Raffi Hovhannisyan
to send representatives from his own fraction. He hopes that his
colleagues from "Heritage" party will review their stance, which
mildly speaking contradicts NA decision.

In addition the committee has addressed a letter to the Council of
Europe Venice Committee and the representative of the European Union
in Armenia to send international experts. The day before Speaker of
the National Assembly Tigran Torosyan made similar proposal to the
Council of Europe and OSCE. In case of necessity the committee is
ready to invite other international experts.

"Will the committee manage to implement this huge work in time?"

"We must try. It depends on how soon the extra-parliamentary forces
will respond to our proposals, to be included in the staff of the
committee and start our works as soon as possible. It is a very
important factor.

We will try to finish our work by the end of October. If we finish
earlier, we will come out with a report. If the committee considers
that we need more time we will appeal to the National Assembly asking
them to prolong the term of our competencies," the speaker underscored.

In case of necessity the committee will invite and ask questions to
the former high-ranking officials, former responsible representatives
of the National Security and Internal Affairs, even Robert Kocharyan,
though NA decision doesn’t envisage similar "obligation".

And what is Samvel Nikoyan’s attitude towards some people’s intentions
to set up "public committee?

"They can set up 1, 10, 100 committees, as many as they want. It is
their problem. This committee is a concrete committee set up by the
decision of the National Assembly, with certain competences. And
it is the obligation of the state bodies to respond to our letters
and to submit all the necessary documents. We can invite all the
high-ranking officials and listen to their clarifications. Does any
other committee have these competencies," the head of the committee
said in response to our question.

After all "we face a concrete problem that must be solved. There are
two approaches – not to participate in the works of the committee
and simply criticize, or to work. We have chosen the second one."

Moreover "there can be some political forces or people who will not
want to see a complete conclusion regarding March 1-2 tragedy. They
will propose to close this page of our history and move forward. But
it is not the problem of the committee. Our task is to work. Even
if they try to create and atmosphere of distrust, to criticize the
works that we haven’t even started, anyway we will do our work." RPA
Secretary believes.

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