Haykakan Zhamanak, Armenia
Aug 15 2008
Kocharyan’s return devises ways
by Lusine Barseghyan
Four months after leaving his office, [former Armenian President]
Robert Kocharyan does not intend to leave government summerhouses.
[Passage omitted: The paper says that Prosecutor-General Aghvan
Hovsepyan and the leader of the governing coalition member Prosperous
Armenia Party, businessman Gagik Tsarukyan, often visit Kocharyan in
the summerhouses and that President Serzh Sargsyan has to spend his
weekends at his private summerhouse in Tsaghkhadzor, a resort town in
Kotayk Region due to this.]
While Kocharyan does not hurry to go out of government summerhouses,
the talk about his return to politics has intensified concurrently,
especially over the last days. Well-informed sources say that [the
former chief of the State Protection Service and] the head of
Kocharyan’s bodyguards, Grigoriy Sargsyan, announced to a limited
number of people recently that he would resume work some time
again. There are reports that Kocharyan’s wife, Bella Kocharyan, also
spoke about her husband’s return to politics to close
friends. According to our information, Mrs Bella said that her husband
is very concerned about the situation in the country and is going to
return. By the way, this is expected to happen in September.
While these conversations are going on, scenarios of Kocharian’s
possible return are being discussed behind the scenes. According to
one of the scenarios, current Parliament Speaker Tigran Torosyan is to
resign regardless of his will, [head of the presidential staff] Hovik
Abrahamyan is to become parliament speaker, and then start opening up
"the way" for Kocharyan’s return. According to this scenario, Prime
Minister Tigran Sargsyan is the next one to resign, and Kocharyan will
replace him. The scenario goes on as follows – [Armenian President]
Serzh Sargsyan resigns and a new presidential election is announced,
and Kocharyan tries to become president. The feasibility of this
scenario is a topic of separate discussions, but it does exist.
Moreover, according to reliable information, Kocharyan said in a
private conversation in his own lexicon that he will throw out Tigran
Sargsyan. Kocharyan’s circle is also thinking about establishing a new
party, which will be comprised of [former Foreign Mistier] Vardan
Oskanyan, [former Minister of Justice] Davit Harutyunyan and other
persons, who had been destroying Armenia for 10 continuous years.
Incidentally, it cannot be ruled out that Kocharyan will try to become
prime minister via the Prosperous Armenia Party. Anyway, there was
serious talk about this some time ago. All these rumblings and talks
show that Serzh Sargsyan does not control the situation at all (the
fact that it is aggravating can be seen even in the official
statistics); internal gaps in the government are widening with time;
the opposition is strengthening its positions and has tendencies to
become even stronger.
Of course, people close to Serzh Sargsyan say that Hovik Abrahamyan,
who is considered to be, so to say, Kocharyan’s man, will not become
parliament speaker, that he will continue to be an ordinary MP and
that they will not tolerate Serzh Sargsyan’s being a "pawn", and will
not allow Kocharyan to return. However, there is no doubt that Serzh
Sargsyan’s positions are terribly weak and that, in fact, Robert
Kocharyan continues to govern Armenia secretly.
Yesterday [14 August] we tried to find out the attitude of the
coalition forces to Kocharyan’s possible return. The secretary of the
Prosperous Party of Armenia parliamentary faction, Aram Safaryan, said
he believes that Kocharyan’s return is absolutely probable. However,
he cannot imagine how that can occur. "But today’s political
situations does not make it possible for this to occur spontaneously,"
Safaryan said. Safaryan ruled out the abovementioned scenario of the
return, without giving reasons.
An old member of the [ruling] Republican Party of Armenia [RPA], who
is also the chairman of the financial-budget parliamentary commission,
Gagik Minasyan, got nervous about the topic of Kocharyan’s possible
return. "I have not heard of this," he said. While answering our
question about his attitude to the scenario of Kocharyan’s first
becoming prime minister and then president, he said: "Go and ask those
who discuss this. I have heard nothing like that."
Anyway, will the RPA welcome Kocharyan’s return to politics or not?
Minasyan said: "That’s why I told you – ask those who discuss
this. How can I express an opinion if I don’t discuss this? We will
discuss that when it is decided."
A member of the [coalition] Armenian Revolutionary Federation –
Dashnaktsutyun, Vahan Hovhannesyan, said that they have no information
about Kocharyan’s return and cannot provide any comments. "We will
decide when he decides to return," Hovhannesyan said. When we asked
whether Vahan Hovhannesyan thinks that Kocharyan’s return is probable,
he said after thinking for a few seconds: "Why not."
The head of the [coalition] Orinats Yerkir [Law-Governed Country]
Party parliamentary faction, Heghine Bisharyan, said in connection
with Kocharyan’s return: "If there is such information, then the
person himself decides what to do. We will provide an assessment when
The coordinator of the [opposition] Popular Movement, Levon Zurabyan,
said yesterday [14 August] that they hold no opinion regarding
Kocharyan’s possible return to politics, because they don’t even
consider such a possibility. While answering to our comment that this
idea is being actively discussed behind the scenes, Zurabyan said:
"There can be talk even about the existence of a fly on the Mars." As
for the abovementioned scenario of Kocharyan’s return, Zurabyan said:
"We do not analyze the calculation of these small combinations at
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress