Hovanessian Comments on International Monitors

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Armenian Revolutionary Federation Executive Council of Armenia Chairperson Vahan Hovanessian was at the polling station where presidential candidate Karen Demirchian cast his vote Monday. Speaking with journalists–Hovanessian pointed out that he was voting at the school where he graduated.

Presenting his standpoint on a new cabinet formation–Hovanessian argued that a new cabinet should be formed on the principle of professionalism and not proceeding from quotas provided for parties.

At the same time he referred to the need for a coalition body to "determine the path to state building." According to him–party representative–including members of his party–should suspend their party membership when engaged in government structures–"at least at some of the ministries," Hovanessian maintained–adding that the ARF’s participation in the new cabinet had not yet been discussed with Robert Kocharian.

He almost ruled out the possibility of his work in executive structures–saying that he has to work for the party–"which after suffering so many blows needs a period of recovery."

That is the very reason for which the party had not nominated its own presidential candidate–Hovanessian said–adding–"Today–we are ready for a short round–but we are not up for long term activities. Because of that–national unity would be easier to achieve with the party supporting Kocharian instead of having its own candidate form around Robert Kocharian rather than around an ARF candidate."

Commenting on the inevitability of the dissolution of the National Assembly by the end of the year–Hovanessian said that "there are different ways of dissolving Parliament." According to him–there have been shifts in the alignment of forces. Hovanessian voiced confidence that the ARF and the parliamentary faction of the Yerkrapah battalion will hold numerous seats in the new National Assembly.

The ARF representative said his party had no ideological differences with Yerkrapah. "It is a group of young people committed to national ideals–and some had tried to use them as an instrument against the people," Hovanessian said.

He stated that it was possible that Kocharian invite Karen Demirchian into his cabinet–even though–Hovanessian felt that would be inappropriate.

Commenting on possible violations in the election process and the role of international observers–Hovanessian stressed that "observers from the organizations which are engaged both in monitoring the election and the Karabakh settlement cannot be impartial–since they are seeking easier ways of settling the conflict by meddling in Armenia’s domestic life–trying to bring to power a weak–puppet president in Armenia when negotiations resume. "They will have something to find fault with even if the election proceeds in the most orderly fashion," said Hovanessian.

Commenting on the idea that if legislation does not serve the people’s interest–then it must be ignored–Hovanessian said that the ARF does not apply this formula in Armenia. The He explained that the ARF once bypassed legislation in the Turkish and Russian empires–but the party strongly rejects the use of similar methods against the legislation of its own country.

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