Coalition Partners Consider Government Program Realistic

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–The newly formed Armenian coalition government (cabinet) will present its plan of action to the National Assembly (parliament) for official approval on Thursday–June 19.

The program is an amalgamation of the election platform of President Kocharian and the parliamentary-election platforms of the three political parties in the governing coalition: the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK)–the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF–or Dashnaktsutiun)–and the Orinats Yerkir party.

Representatives of those parties agreed to speak to Armenpress regarding the government’s program.

HHK Executive Council member Galust Sahakian termed the program realistic–noting that "loud promises" made during the election campaign have been excluded and–instead–serious positions have been adopted regarding all spheres of governance.

The ideology and principles of the program–according to Sahakian–are intended to ensure the continuity of existing processes–which are derived from the HHK’s principles–he said. Regarding the program’s orientation–Sahakian said it is foremost intended to resolve social issues.

ARF representative Armen Rustamian noted that the program is ambitious yet reflects realistic expectations. The vast majority of the ARF’s proposals were included in the final version of the program during exhaustive negotiations among the parties–Rustamian said. He stressed that those were not last-minute negotiations but have been going on for several months–starting with the Presidential elections. "Even at that time we had the necessary basis for laying the groundwork for cooperation," he said.

The program attempts to reflect the distinctive aspects of each party’s election platforms as well as urgent issues raised by the country’s population during the election campaigns–the ARF representative explained. "The program is a product of the efforts to arrive at a synthesis of all those various positions–and as such is unique," Rustamian said. "Its other distinctive feature is that the program attempts to primarily address today’s issues."

As for the anti-corruption proposals made by the ARF–Rustamian said that some of the party’s proposals were not fully included in the program–but the positions expressed in the anti-corruption portion of the program do reflect the ARF’s approach on the issue. In the prologue it’s made clear that the anti-corruption campaign must be viewed as a priority by the government–Rustamian said–and that the way to conduct that campaign is by reforming the socioeconomic and state-governance systems. He said that through the insistence of the ARF–the direction of anti-corruption efforts would be further defined.

Samvel Balasanian of the Orinats Yerkir party stated that a relatively comprehensive–realistic–and good-quality program has been developed and will resolve many social problems. He said 61 of the party’s 117 proposals have been included in the program regarding various socioeconomic and other issues.

As for Orinats Yerkir’s proposal to provide restitution to those who lost their savings as a consequence of economic and banking reforms immediately after Independence–Balasanian noted that although the proposal had not been accepted–it remains on the party’s agenda.

He said that the party’s position had been that restitution was dependent on whether the state was in a financially capable position to do so. Balasanian added that the party committee tasked with studying the issue for nearly two years has concluded that the country does not yet have the capability of including that matter in the government’s plan of action.

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