Reaction On Prime Minister’s Resignation Varies

YEREVAN(Noyan Tapan)"After our first encounter with Prime Minister Armen Sarkissian we had an impression that this man would readily use his knowledge and experience accumulated in European countries to contribute to the development of Armenia’s economy and eliminate some negative phenomena in our country. However–the tough and steadfast position held by the authorities made the Prime Minister resign," said Rouben Vartanian–the vice-chairman of the National Self Determination Union (NSDU)–commenting on the recent Prime Minister’s resignation.

Vartanian explained that results from public opinion polls conducted by the NSDU Public Opinion Research Center indicated that the government’s approval rating among the citizens of Armenia had increased noticeably upon the appointment of Armen Sarkissian.

"Although–in principle–the use of this card yielded results such as decreased public dissatisfaction originating from a coup d’etat executed by the president–the reshuffling of these cards will not bring about more change in the country’s morale and psychological attitude. [Armen Sarkissian’s] resignation– once again–proves that the leadership must be changed," concluded Vartanian.

Responding to inquiries on possible contenders for Sarkissian’s post–Vartanian said that an appropriate individual would have to be capable of implementing reforms and promoting cooperation and good relations between governmental authorities and the people of Armenia. "However–taking into consideration the authorities’ unwillingness to make any changes–we may assume that a new Prime Minister will be a puppet. This is why–there is no point in speaking of possible candidacies. Perhaps–the present authorities will soon accomplish another approach to our Unionthe combination of the president’s and prime minister’s positions," Vartanian said.

First Secretary of Armenia’s Communist Party Sergey Badalian expressed regret over the resignation of Prime Minister Armen Sarkissian. According to Badalian–Sarkissian’s reforms and ideas for the Armenian government were welcomed by him and his party.

"We approved of the Prime Minister’s plans regarding government’s leading role in management and coordination of the economy–revival of various industries–active implementation of social policy and restoration of economic ties with Russia," explained Badalian

According to Badalian–while he and the communists saw certain contradictions in the Prime Minister’s rhetoric and actions–such as his free-market oriented economic reforms–the Prime Minister could still expect at least some understanding from the communists.

"This was the manifestation of contradiction between real conditions and political goals. Our Party–however–announced that if [the Prime Minister’s] plan is submitted and substantiated–he could count on our understanding and–perhaps–our support," declared Badalian.

Badalian added that the situation seemed more discouraging–as–according to the communists– the fiscal budget discussions proved.

"Having good intentions is one thing–but reality is another. It is impossible to settle problems through good intentions alone," said Badalian.

Speaking of possible contenders for the office of Prime Minister–Sergey Badalian said–"We should not seek for a solution to our problems by thinking whom to nominate or who is going to be Prime Minister. We should make root changes in the entire social and economic policy and completely change our stance; there is no other option for Armenia."

"If we are going to settle our problems the way we did–the situation may become catastrophic and may lead to final destabilization of the situation in social and political spheres. Moreover–with the present tensions at our borders and the Karabakh conflict–mistakes may hold a bloody tragedy for our people," concluded the communist leader.

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