Prosperous Armenia’s "Two Models"

Naira Hayrumyan

Story from News:

Published: 12:58:42 – 18/06/2012

Will Vartan Oskanian be deprived of parliamentary immunity? There are
already such rumors. First Vartan Oskanian himself dwelt on this issue
on TV and was promised by the TV host to send him food to jail. Later,
MP Nikol Pashinyan, ANC talked about such a possibility, saying that
if the parliament is requested to vote, he will vote for depriving
Oskanian of his parliamentary immunity.

The money laundering case is about a huge sum of money and the
punishment may reach up to 10 years in prison, as lawyers say. Vartan
Oskanian and Director of Civilitas Salpi Ghazarian, as we know,
refused to make testimonies at the National Security Service and
this may “force” the law enforcers to ask the parliament to deprive
Oskanian of immunity to be able to undertake “investigative measures”.

Will the outcome be an international scandal? And has the criminal
case against Civilitas become a political scandal? Apparently not.

Although Oskanian described the criminal proceedings as a political
order, the ambassadors of European countries visited the Civilitas
Foundation and the U.S. Ambassador said that he was concerned about
the “time” of launching proceedings but it has not become a political

Moreover, the leader of Prosperous Armenia Party Gagik Tsarukyan, after
a long regular silence, did not speak about political persecution,
he spoke about the necessity to invite international lawyers to
Armenia. This means that Gagik Tsarukyan is preparing for a legal
process, not a political one. Investigation will also involve
deprivation of immunity.

The public opinion relating on Vartan Oskanian’s case is not known.

There is no possibility to measure it, since the sociological
institutes are not operational in Armenia, and judging by reports,
more people support Oskanian since charges brought on him do harm
to the new political culture. Many think that this culture cannot
survive this blow.

Actually, Oskanian tried to build a social and political structure
based on modern rules, beginning with organization of discussions and
ending with the creation of the first web television in the country,
which already has many visitors. And if we forget the possibility
that all this could be done with the support of Robert Kocharyan,
or could be related to domestic political “disputes” in the United
States, we should recognize that Oskanian has been able to build a real
“social and political holding in Armenia.”

Maybe it was not worth politicizing the public holding so promptly
before it had received sufficient public confidence. However,
Civilitas was a model which would ensure conscious public support to
a political candidate. This is the missing element in the Armenian
elections where public support is not decisive.

Apparently, this is the reason of persecution launched against
Civilitas and not Prosperous Armenia, the “charity” model of receiving
public support which is not dangerous for the authorities.

In this situation, it is extremely important that “public support”
to Oskanian and not the “charity” of Tsarukyan wins. Though, in either
ways, the defeat of the philosophy of the PAP seems almost inevitable.