ARF Armenia Pushes Accelerated Reforms to Resolve Critical Issues

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s (ARF) Supreme Body representative Armen Rustamian and National Assembly’s ARF faction leader Levon Mkrtchian held a news conference on Friday to present the party’s activities in the past year–along with future plans.

Rustamian–who mentioned that the party’s Supreme Convention is scheduled for October–said–"In order to make the discussions more effective–we need to know public opinion on our activities. Then the convention will shape our strategy for the next two years."

Speaking of ARF’s motives to join the ruling coalition–Rustamian pointed to two reasons. "First–we wanted the issues we deemed critical to be considered as such by the government–and to ensure our participation in resolving those issues. The coalition greatly contributed to establishing stability in the country–as well as strengthening the country’s position on the international arena. When the political situation escalated this year–however–it became clear that there is definite discontent."

"The coalition’s main objective should be to accelerate the country’s development so as to decrease the level of objective discontent," Rustamian continued.

He noted that due to specifics of the transitional period–the country is shifting to a plutocracy rather than democracy. As for those measures aimed at curtailing negative developmen’s–Rustamian pointed to the fight against corruption as a pivotal step–adding that the ARF’s faction in the National Assembly will soon introduce a number of draft laws related to the issue."

He also noted that accountability should play a key role in the policy of choosing people to public offices–and that a system of checks and balances must be instituted.

He detailed the party’s stance on the Constitution–Elections Code–social issues–and the justice system.

Asked to comment on the coalition’s activities during the past year–Rustamian said not enough has been done to resolve crucial issues–and deemed it necessary to accelerate the pace of reforms.

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