National Accord Round Table Addresses Opposition Platform

YEREVAN (Yerevan News Agency) — The National Accord–a group of several Armenian opposition parties–held a round table discussion Monday at the National Democratic Party headquarters–to address the opposition platform following the presidential elections.

The round table was convened by Constitutional Rights Union chairman Hrant Khatchatryan–who– in his remarks–profiled the history of the National Accord–which since 1991 has come together in various different forms.

Khatchatryan stressed that the various parties comprising the Accord each aimed–within its own party–to operate on a model which would–one day–become a model for Armenia’s government.

The moderator then explained that the round table was to address the draft by-laws and declaration of the National Accord–and introduced the representatives from each participating party or organization.

Representatives of each party then took turns to address the gathering with NDU’s Davit Vartanian explaining that the National Accord was a political grouping among parties that unanimously support the establishment of a democratic and lawful state.

Vartanian added that since the creation of such a state was a societal concern–thus a second tier was added to include public and social organizations.

Representatives of the Armenian National Party (Souren Sourenyants)–the Democracy Defense Fund (Armen Hovannesian)–the National Progressive Party (Vartan Zournachian)–the National Unity Chapter (Rafael Hambartsoumian)–the National Assembly Deputies’ Club (Rouben Torosyan)–the Armenian Relief Cross (Alvart Petrossian)–Gtutyiun Benevolent Organization (Khatchig Stamboultsian)– the Scientific-Industrial and Civil Union (Levon Hakopian)–the Syunik-Haiastan organization (Samvel Harutiunian)–the Intellectual-Armenia’society (Felix Safarian)–the Yeritasardutiune [Youth] organization (Eleanora Manandyan) and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Rouben Hakopian)–provided their perspectives on the National Accord.

The brunt of the participants’ remarks focused on the creation of the National Accord–for which a unanimous consent was provided by participating organizations.

Following each presentation–Khatchatryan suggested a discussion on the National Accord declaration–which reads as follows:

"We–the participating members of a conference organized by the National Accord–having proved that the policies of the current leadership make it impossible to resolve the enormous obstacles facing our nation–which also endanger the national security of our homeland–declare the establishment of the National Accord based on the imperative of defending human rights and creating a civil society. The accords will aim to create a democratic–legal and social government in Armenia."

Round table participants emphasized the authorities’ attempt at utilizing differences among political parties to create schisms within the National Accord–stressing that the common denominator bringing the opposition parties together was the re-establishment of a democratic–legal and civil society.

Several participants also voiced the imperative of discussing the current leadership’s legitimacy within the declaration to clarify the intent of the National Accord.

Attorney Edward Mamikonian and Armenia’s Political Scientists’ Union chairman Hmayak Hovannesian discussed the importance of addressing the leadership’s legitimacy within the declaration–while Rafael Ghazarian stressed the need to include the Nagorno-Karabakh question within the framework.

In response–Vartanian explained that aside from the declaration–there would also be an extensive communique outlining the National Accord decisions.

The round table participants also discussed and evaluated the draft by-laws and set deadlines for the convention of the National Accord Assembly.

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