Vahan Hovanessian Holds Press Conference

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–On the occasion of its re-registration of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation–the ARF Executive Council of Armenia held a press conference on Friday–February 13.

"ARF was the first political force to understand and predict that Levon Ter-Petrosyan and his regime will make Armenia follow an erroneous path. The joint struggle of the opposition which has formed over the past several years yielded positive endresults," said Vahan Hovanessian–member of the ARF Executive Council. He stated that the recent changes in the upper echelon of power were the outcome of a split between authorities.

Hovanessian said that a statehood should be built on national values–and that now–more than ever–there is great demand for that.

According to Hovanessian–the path which the ARF would like to see Armenian follow will be achieved gradually. He confirmed that the ARF believes that Acting President and Prime Minister Robert Kocharian is capable of taking that responsibility and leading the country onto that path.

"When the ARF was suspended in Armenia–it functioned uninterruptedly in Karabakh. It is a guarantee that Robert Kocharian views national problems from the position with which the ARF views them. His economic program is real. There will be no miracles–but the situation will change for the better by the end of the year. Kocharian is capable and must serve as a symbol of national unity," Vahan Hovanessian said.

Asked about ARF’s reasons for no longer supporting Vazgen Manoukian–Hovanessian explained–"In 1996–all healthy forces were in an arm to arm struggle against the evil–trying to get rid of a factor which played a destructive role in the country. But when there is no destructive factor–more choices are available. We have to say that we have serious differences with the National Democratic Union–differences existent even in 1996. NDU’s position on the fate of Karabakh is a little vague. We enjoy excellent relations with NDU and are confident that if Vazgen Manoukian is elected president–Armenia will not return to its former state. However–we find it more appropriate for Robert Kocharian to be elected President of Armenia."

Hovanessian concluded–"We are not striving for power. Now–at last–there is a field in which we can practice what political parties are meant to do. We have always been sidetracked by Turks–Azeris–hostilities. Now–we can devote ourselves to establishing a normal–healthy moral and political atmosphere for the Armenian people. And–in doing so–we will not spare any effort."

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