President Must be Held Accountable

Serzh Sarkisian

BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN

Since his re-appointment for a second term, Armenia’s Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan has been—rightfully—on the receiving end of criticism from various political factions and individuals, among them the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. The main criticism of Sargsyan has been his handling of Armenia’s economic and financial policies that has brought wide-spread poverty and unemployment to Armenia hastening rampant emigration from the country.

However, instead of analyzing and delineating his many shortcomings in advancing Armenia’s economic policy, the focus of Sargsyan’s misdeeds has become his alleged involvement in an “off shore” investment scheme. Such a scandal is certainly more palatable for the lay citizen and of course more intriguing with its salacious details that include the involvement of the Primate of the Ararat Diocese Archbishop Navasard Kchoyan as a partner in the “off shore” company.

On Wednesday, ARF Bureau Chairman Hrant Markarian  chose RFE/RL (azatutyun.am) to announce that because of the ARF’s criticism and opposition to his approach, the prime minister has declared “war” on the ARF. Markarian said that by using media outlets under his control the prime minster was spreading false claims of an alleged revolt within the party that seeks to oust Markarian from the Bureau.

If Armenia were governed by a parliamentary system, the numerous calls for the prime minister’s resignation would have been legitimate (see recent developments in the Czech Republic). However, Armenia IS governed by a presidential system which means the buck stops with the president and no one else. Hence, if the prime minister has declared war on an opposition faction so has the president.

What is more alarming is the revelation by Markarian that various people in Armenia’s government control their OWN media outlets, through which they advance their personal agendas.

Armenia’s political landscape has denigrated to a point that not only a handful of oligarchs control most of the country’s national wealth, but government officials entrusted to protect the citizens and the Constitution—which calls for a free press among other tenets—have created fiefdoms of sorts by controlling (buying and paying for) the media.

Markarian’s assertion that the prime minister’s use of press outlets under his dominion will only hurt Sargsyan is accurate in that the ARF, in its 123 years of existence, has always addressed its organizational issues and always has resolved them internally and without outside intervention. Sargsyan’s “war” on the ARF will not impede or deter ARF members from having a healthy discourse about the party’s activities, direction or leadership nor will it serve as a rallying cry to abandon any such discussion. A quick glance at its history will reveal that the ARF has conducted its internal business according to the organization’s needs—and by-laws—at times of even greater threats to the party and to the nation.

The last 22 years have shown that Armenia’s government is controlled by the ruling party locally, regionally and nationally. The ARF has sounded that alarm, most recently during the three important elections, that the ruling party candidates are using government levers to win elections and impeding serious competition while stealing the elections.

After the flawed presidential elections in February, the ruling Republican Party of Armenia convened a conclave and hailed its chief, Serzh Sarkisian, as the ruler of the party and the people of Armenia. Sarkisian, in turn, appointed the same apparatchiks, including the prime minister, to advance his policies not their own.

We have also seen that no government official can make a move without the approval of 26 Baghramyan Street (the presidential residence). The recent issues with the increase in gas and utility prices, which is forcing Armenia to sell off its critical infrastructure to Russia is nothing but a product of Serzh Sarkisian’s failed policies.

The President does not have carte blanche to continue his corrupt agenda that has marred Armenia’s ability to advance and grow economically, socially and politically. It was the president’s edict that embroiled Armenia in the dangerous Armenia-Turkey protocols, which continue to hang like the Sword of Damocles over Armenia.

Markarian’s revelations only heighten the imperative to identify the real culprit in Armenia woes—President Serzh Sarkisian. Only then can the public emerge from the distracting haze of scandal and innuendo and, as Markarian, himself, said, change the president in Armenia.

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16 Comments

  1. Armanen said:

    PM Sargsyan is Washington’s inside man in Yerevan. There have been at least 2 attempts to kick him out of office but each time a phone call from outside prevented this. You would all do well to remember that before becoming the PM, Sargsyan was head of the Central Bank of Armenia (CBA). He is tied in with the IMF/WB people, both of which are part of the US world system. This issue is much bigger than what this article would have one believe.

  2. kathy kurkian said:

    Don’t blame it on Serg…Armenian outward migration from Armenia is not a new phenomenon. They been migrating since Soviet Times. Every person in this world is entitled for the good life in the USA and other western countries.

    • Hay said:

      I hope you are being sarcastic. How is everyone entitled to the good life others built? The only thing we’re entitled to is make our country a better place to live instead of escaping it at the first hardship.

    • bigmoustache said:

      He has stunted our growth and potential. Of course people have been leaving since soviet times but that was over 20 years ago. Why are u making excuses for him?
      During the ottoman times we were perceived as being wealthier than the Turks and kurds (one of the reason for the genocide was their jealously). We were the expert jewels, architects, garment makers, gunsmiths, farmers… And that was during an occupation where we were treated as second class citizens and which ended in murder and the confiscation of our wealth. Now turkey is the leader in exports of fruits and nuts that came from Armenian confiscated farms. Even their copper was from an Armenian company that did the mining and extraction.
      Now this snake serj has sold off everything to foreign companies instead of nationalizing them or keeping them in private Armenian hands.
      There’s still too much unemployment and he’s doing nothing on the pr level to combat azerbaijan and turkey. How can u still make excuses? He’s in his second 5 year term. There’s nobody else or no other party more responsible than serj and the RPA. (although i don’t trust the other parties in Armenia including the one run by tsarukyan). I only wish people in Armenia would wake up from their sleep and look abroad and in their history book at how much the ARF has done for armenians.

    • bigmoustache said:

      And also the media there isn’t free. These things add to the discontent and hardships that armenians have to suffer through. When Hratch Mouradian was murdered it wasn’t even mentioned on Armenia based news websites like panarmenian because Hratch was a popular leader and member of the ARF who had become mayor through his hard work and honesty. Seriously enough is enough.

  3. Samvel Jeshmaridian, PhD said:

    Prime Minister Tigran Sarksyan and Archbishop Navasard Kchoyan together with the third person have developed the “off-shore” company to secretly buy goods for the defense of Nagorgo Karabakh. The same way, years ago, Mr. Sarksyan then the Defense Minister, when playing cards in Monte Carlo lost $5 million, the money to be sent to Nagorgo Karabakh for its defense purposes.

  4. Arto said:

    “The recent issues with the increase in gas and utility prices, which is forcing Armenia to sell off its critical infrastructure to Russia is nothing but a product of Serzh Sarkisian’s failed policies…”

    Ridiculous statement by the author of this article. Which country’s president has any control over the price of a commodity another country chooses to sell it. Sounds like Ara Khachatourian is trying to impose his political agenda rather than be journalist. Even after the proposed price rise in gas, Armenia’s price for Russian gas will still be significantly cheaper than what any other country pays for their gas. Lets break things down a little more (something the author deliberately avoids doing):

    Armenia is on the verge of signing deep and comprehensive free trade agreements with Europe which will open up tremendous opportunities for investment in Armenia
    Armenia has managed to flirt with Europe while at the same time deepen Russian strategic and military support for Armenia thanks to the president’s multi-vector diplomacy.
    Armenia now hosts the most advanced medium range precision guided missile systems in the world thanks to its ties to Russia and our president’s diplomatic maneuvering,
    Armenia is set to develop a large scale military industrial complex which will advance it’s military capability and hire a lot of talented engineers and scientists, all thanks to its strategic alliance with Russia and our presidents efforts,
    Armenia has managed to maintain military superiority in the region despite the billions and billions the enemy is spending on their military…
    Do you get my drift? I agree with Ara Khachatourian that the president should be held accountable. For all these tremendous achievements for our land-locked, blockaded country I thank our president for doing a great job.

    Armenia is in a tough situation, one of the toughest in the world compared to other countries. The last thing our fledgeling country needs is continuous negativity and belittling, especially from people who don’t even want to make the sacrifice to move and live there. Offcourse there are problems but in time all problems will be solved with the most important ones such as security first. We must be a little supportive and positive towards our tiny republic which is already being crushed between big genocidal neighbors.

  5. helen takessian said:

    please answer this : just who are these “oligarths-after all there are other races born and living in Armenia-are they of different ethnic origin. Very important!

    • bigmoustache said:

      youre starting to sound racist. we welcome other ethnicities in our country and by the way the oligarchs are Armenians. when I was a kid I used to think Armenia was a place of angels, no criminals etc.. I was a little kid. I now know there is scum in all ethnicities and these are our scum.

  6. Alex Postallian said:

    If the Armenians don’t reform,their politics,remove the crooks: they will always be little people.

  7. Svetlana Swanson said:

    Whatever the other issues and financial or political connections might be, the mere appearnace that Russia sells arms to Azerbaijan, and Armenia sells its infrastructure to Russia, equals selling of Armenia to Azerbaijan.

    • George said:

      If your litmus test for who is Armenia’s ally is that country not doing any business with Azerbaijan or Turkey, then Armenia is will be with any allies. The US also sends aid to Azerbaijan.

  8. Rifat said:

    Serj, Kocharian, Erdogan, Gul, Babacan. Welcome to the NWO and Bankster-ruled Globalism everyone.

  9. Josef said:

    It’s funny how Armenian’s living in United States are always ready to voice there opinion about Armenia!
    The real question is how many are ready to move back and make a change?

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