Political Parties Formalize Unprecedented Coalition

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–President Robert Kocharian received representatives of the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK)–the Orinats Yerkir party–and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF)–who formalizing an agreement to form a coalition government–signed a memorandum on Wednesday. HHK Chairman Andranik Markarian–ARF Supreme Body representative Armen Rustamian–and Orinats Yerkir President Artur Baghdasarian are the signatories.

ARF’s Rustamian called the memorandum an "unprecedented document."

"This refined document is the result of lengthy negotiations," he said–adding that cooperation had begun when the three political forces endorsed President Kocharian and his platform.

"The grounds for forming a coalition government. . . came from those priorities expressed by our people–their deman’s–along with what is imperative for Armenia," stressed Rustamian. "We are getting off to a good start–and that means half of the job is already done," he declared. "Five years later–we will be able to speak about a much better Armenia. . . I wish the coalition government success–for [the good] our nation and people," he concluded.

Andranik Markarian in his speech said that a new political tradition has been established in Armenia–but warned–"An agreement can be reached if there is good will–if there is a unity."

Baghdasarian–for his part–welcomed the first-ever agreement. "We are laying the groundwork for an important precedent of addressing our society’s problems through a political agreement," he said.

"I am ready to share responsibility with you in the next four or five years," Kocharian declared–warning that a collapse of the coalition could undermine political stability in Armenia. "If the coalition works effectively we will have stability in our country," he said. "If not–we will have problems."


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