Marat Terterov: Armenia’s long term security will be better served by strengthening economic security, rather than defining national security on the basis of the Tsarist Russian catch-cry “armiya i flot”
ArmInfo’s interview with Manvel Sargsyan , Head of the Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS).
by David Stepanyan
The election outcome was quite predictable. Let’s talk of the instruments used to achieve such outcome.
The atmosphere of the elections was clear long before the voting day. It was obviously demonstrated when people were forcefully taken to Serzh Sargsyan's meetings in different town of the republic within the frames of the campaign. People were taken to the polling stations at the voting day just the same way as to the meetings of the ruling party. In other words, the result of the election was evident first of all because of using of the administrative resource and than the money one. By the way, Prosperous Armenia Party, which said about its resoluteness to contradict bribe delivery, immediately after the sitting of the single headquarters went to the regions of Armenia to give bribes. And the headquarters said nothing about it. So, two camps destined the results of the election, as they formed
equally dirty and apolitical atmosphere. The difference is that the RPA "was gathering" votes by means of an
administrative resource, threats and bribes , and the PAP only by means of bribes. Thanks to their joint work, one
pro-power party got 44% of votes and another one - 30%.
Another 4 forces have entered the parliament. What about their roles and tasks?
All these forces have come across one specific problem - to take or not to take the mandates. If these people say that the elections were falsified but at the same time they take mandates, it means that they transfer from the constitutional field to that of illegality. If all these forces transfer to the anti-constitutional field, what they will do there will be hardly interesting to anyone, as in that case they will start playing according to the fixed rules.
Do you share the opinion that the elections passed with seeming propriety?
The results achieved by means of administrative-criminal pressure cannot be called legitimate.
Actually, all the international observers have recognized the elections in line with international standards.
The international observers were honest when comparing these elections with the elections of the Soviet times, that is, they were happy enough not to see the ruling party collecting 99.9% of the voters. The world community's position depends on what the Armenian parties will do: if they dispute the results of the voting, the world community will do the same. So, now the key task of the winner is to convince the other parties not to do it.
The Republicans and Prosperous Armenia have gained an absolute majority in the new parliament. How will their relations continue given the presidential election of Feb 2013?
The relations between the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) and Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP) depend on whether
the PAP will take its mandates. If it does, of which I am certain, the party will enter the field of relations with the RPA. Having done
this, they will only have to think what to do next and what is more profitable for them. I think it is profitable for the Prosperous Armenia to keep playing the role of false opposition, to enlist the sympathies of the opposition voters and at the same time to play the master in the criminal and oligarchic regime, being a part of it. If the PAP succeeds in being opposition, what disturbs it to play this role for one more year? What disturbs it to advance a nominee at the presidential election, who will be gently ousted by Serzh Sargsyan and will ensure a second term for Sargsyan? What's wrong about it? I think they will do it given that it is much more valuable than membership in a false coalition. According to the scenario of the RPA and the PAP, the latter may form a coalition with the former, having obtained ministerial portfolios. Therefore, everything depends on the society's attitude to the parties' activities.
Is it reasonable for ANC to refuse the mandates?
Over the past 4 years the strategy of the ANC proved its worthlessness. It makes no difference whether the ANC will carry out its activities in the streets or in the parliament. The ANC is unable to change its strategy and tactics.
What about Dashnaktsutyun and Orinats Yerkir?
Nobody has noticed them and they play no special role in these processes. The latter is only a refined method to provide the power regime with several more mandates.
Does it mean that the Republicans do not need any coalition?
The Republican Party of Armenia will get as many as 80 seats in the new parliament, the absolute majority being 67 seats. The Republicans' only task now is to ensure one more presidential term for Serzh Sargsyan.
Whether they'll do it openly, through a coalition with Prosperous Armenia, or secretly, as they did this time, will make no big difference.
We have been complaining about monopolies since 1998. In 2008 the people was openly suppressed in the very center of Yerevan. Most of the people seem to have learned no lesson from all that, however…
It is already a tradition in Armenia for 20 years to say that, for instance, such fundamental problems like changing of regime may be resolved only by the political parties. In its expectations the society is oriented only towards the parties. It is high time to get rid of such a false stereotype. People in Armenia do not understand that no political force is able to affect changing in the power formation process. The day, when they ask who makes these changes, the people will understand that they are the only to be able to do that. Why do the political parties support this false stereotype that they are the locomotive of the changing process? They evidently lie and present their defeat like a revolution, and call the biggest bandokrat - a democratizator and guarantor of the election. Just the opposition parties give such false formulas to the society. These formulas cannot be given by the regime as the people know very well what is the core of the regime. But when these formulas are given by the "opposition", the people become disoriented and cannot independently come out from such a situation.
A total of 53,000 intentionally damaged ballot-papers mean that not everything has been lost yet…
Those 53 thousand voters saw that they were deceived, but they have not yet understood what should be done and what is their function. And when they understand it, there will be thousands of "Mashtots Parks" in Armenia, the last of which will be the parliament and the president's palace. This happened in all the countries...The people have already understood that nobody must be trusted in, that all the politicians lie cynically. The people have already valued these opposition parties for 5 thsd drams and sold them to the authorities. The parties already say that the people sold them for 5 thsd drams, but I think that actually they do not cost even 5 thsd drams.