ARF Holds Conference On Socialist Ideology

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The Armenian Revolutionary Federation launched a two-day conference Friday in Yerevan–entitled "ARF’s Socialist Work in Armenia."

Hrant Markarian–an ARF Bureau representative–in his opening speech–said that ARF has been the organization that has always been committed to strengthening the Armenian statehood and the nation.

"As a state and an independent nation we have to resist external pressure and there is a strong need for national reunion to resolve all-national issues," he said.

Markarian also noted that the conference would be seeking a formula that would help resolve today’s and tomorrow’s problems.

Candidate of Historical Sciences Hakob Hakobian–a political analyst–during the seminar–said the reason for the durable and all-embracing crisis in Armenia is the unlimited liberal regime.

"The reason–however–was not the absence of experience of the ANM leaders–neither did it happen by accident. It is a program worked out by the outside forces and given to the Armenian leaders–the goal of which is Lebanonization," the political analyst said. Hakobian emphasized that after the change of power in 1998 nothing has changed–"that is why we turn our faces to socialism–as a rescue and the only and radical means for helping Armenia out of crisis."

Hakobian presented the national model of democratic socialism. He said this system will have to change the present liberal regime. The proposed system does not consider democracy as a gift from the government but the content of the people’s lifestyle. The model rules out the administrative-command socialism–which–as it is well known–does not suggest various forms of property. The democratic socialism also rules out the extreme polarization of society and strives for the formation of a medium class. The regime–according to Hakobian–stipulates a policy of stable and mutually advantageous cooperation with other countries. It deman’s that democratic principles be applied in the inter-state relations as well and considers the interests and violations of the rights of small nations as neoimperialism and neocolonialism.

During the Friday seminar–Bureau chairman Markarian hinted that the party might put forward its own presidential candidate–signaling that President Robert Kocharian should not take its support for granted–reported Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Markarian stopped short of endorsing Kocharian’s reelection bid–arguing that the ARF is still mulling its participation in next year’s presidential elections.

"The ARF may come up with its own candidate," Markarian told reporters. "Nothing should be ruled out."

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