Rustamian Speaks Candidly on ARF’s Role and Opposition

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Speaking to Noyan Tapan–Armen Rustamian said that there is a gradual demand in Armenia’s political arena for a constructive opposition–and spoke frankly about the Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s role in the ruling coalition government.

Rustamian–Chairman of the National Assembly’s foreign relations commission and the chairman of ARF Armenia’s Supreme Body–emphasized that if the opposition advanced constructive proposals rather than tactics to overthrow the government–it would have a greater following.

"While individuals can complain about the authorities–they can also be dissatisfied with the opposition–and find it difficult to choose," he said in discussing the existence of a large undecided electorate in Armenia–as well as the possibility of some of the opposition forces to step back and form a constructive opposition with other political forces.

This opposition–Rustamian emphasized–would advance issues crucial for the country’s development and pinpoint correct tactics to avoid the mistakes of today’s opposition.

When warranted–he said–the ARF will play the role of an "opposition," or it will back certain "positions," depending on how the party views its role in seeking an absolute solution to the problems the country faces.

He stressed that if the ARF believes it cannot realize its full potential as a part of the coalition government because the tasks at hand to advance the country remain only on paper–then the party would not remain in the coalition to act as a veil for the authorities or as a buffer between the authorities and the people.

The effective implementation of programs stipulated by the coalition’s memorandum will decide whether it remains in the coalition. Rustamian stressed–however–the possibilities of solving current problems have not yet expended.

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