Rustamian Calls on Opposition to Show True Colors for Sake of Reform

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–In an interview with Noyan Tapan–ARF’s Armen Rustamian said that if the opposition is sincere in its claims that a power shift is not an end in itself and that it seeks reforms–then it must opt for dialogue.

Rustamian–Chairman of the National Assembly’s foreign relations commission and the chairman of ARF Armenia’s Supreme Body–said that dialogue–on the one hand–allows for achievemen’s to date to be preserved–while opening the doors to resolving existing problems.

The only alternative to political confrontation–Rustamian stressed–is the resolution of issues through political consent. He proposed that the opposition accept the offer to participate "as an equal side–with rights of veto" in working to reform Armenia’s electoral code and constitution–and struggling against corruption–generally in implementing obligations assumed by Armenia [before the Council of Europe].

Part of the opposition–said Rustamian–opposes dialogue because it does not grasp that proposals put forth are–in fact–very realistic.

"Working with that part of the opposition–and extending the idea of political consent–we must present the idea–not as an empty declaration–but a concept that has serious potential."

"Another portion of the opposition simply will not opt for dialogue because of its fundamental desire to increase its electorate on the threshold of possible elections," Rustamian added.

Rustamian said that the possible collision of authorities and the opposition weaken the nation–and the government becomes the responsible party.

He revealed that the opposition–while considered "a persecuted political force carrying out an unshakable struggle for democracy," is void of ideas and programs. For this reason–Rustamian said–they must enter into the political process and work constructively–instead of putting forth far-fetched–artificial reasons–pre-conditions–and ultimatums–anything to avoid dialogue.

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