The second Armenian President Robert Kocharyan touched on several topics beside the criminal charges he’s facing in the interview to Yerkir Media on July 26.
In particular, he recalled that he announced he had no plans to return to politics several times in the last ten years. Kocharyan also suggested he was often criticized by current authorities, as well as the previous authorities and the media outlets they controlled. The former head of state added he had only two meetings with Serzh Sargsyan in the last five years.
Kocharyan also recalled that he gave several interviews in the course of the past ten years.
He gave four of them to Mediamax, in 2008, 2011 and 2012. We decided to bring up certain excerpts from the interviews in our Key section, selecting the parts that mention the topics Kocharyan touched on his interview to Yerkir Media.
On his “shadow ruling” and “correcting the mistake of 1998”
That is complete nonsense. If that was true, Levon Ter-Petrosian, most likely, would now already be in jail for criminal activity (by the way, in that way I would correct my mistake of 1998). And the Turkish President would not be invited for a football match to Yerevan for sure.
The country should be ruled by the people, who are prescribed to do so by the Constitution. And they should be responsible for the country. Power and responsibility are inseparable and cannot be shadow. This is my deep belief.
On “March 1”
The losing candidate stated that he was the President elect and that he intended to occupy the Presidential palace, neither more nor less than that. The situation extremely aggravated, when the opposition took up illegal actions in order to achieve that goal.
I am just reminding that the emergency situation in Armenia was introduced when dozens of cars were already burnt or plundered, when the crowd was destroying everything on its way and when the first dead and injured appeared among the policemen and the civilians, when it became clear that the situation was totally out of control and was threatening both the constitutional order and the security of people and their property. It is simply impossible to deny this obvious fact. The emergency situation was introduced according to Armenian Constitution in full compliance with the established procedures, and namely, after coordination of the issue with the Chairman of the parliament and the Prime Minister with following approval in the National Assembly. I believe this step should have been taken earlier; maybe that way we would be able to avoid casualties.
On civilian casualties
I can say definitely that no one gave out orders to shoot people. In any case, not that I know of. Obvious is the fact that all cases of people’s deaths, except for the Captain of Internal Forces, took place in a significant distance from the venue of the rally, namely, where the cars were being burnt and the stores plundered. No one really controlled the situation there: either the police, or the oppositional leaders. I do not know what progress has been registered in the process of investigation over the past three years, but I assume that this very circumstance strongly complicates the work of investigating structures, especially since there were almost no video surveillance cameras in this part of the city in order to regain the picture of events.
All eight civilians who had died were simple people, who had not demonstrated themselves in politics anyways. Four of them died from bullet wounds. But who needed to shoot them deliberately? It is either a tragic concurrence of circumstances, or someone’s deliberate actions in order to discredit the authorities.
On the dialogue between the authorities and the opposition
If the dialogue concerns establishment of civilized rules of political struggle and renouncement of its radicalization, of course, my assessment is positive. Stability is a necessary condition for economy growth, and this is what Armenia needs most of all today.
This will also benefit conduct of fair elections. If the elections are held under “to be or not to be” motto, the motivation for trick shuffling increases abruptly.
But if the dialogue concerns parameters of imitation of political struggle (for corresponding bonuses), this is most likely a collusion behind the electors’ back. This, by the way, is a direct path to standstill and growth of corruption, since opposition immediately stops fulfilling its main function, namely prompting authorities to work better and be more restrained in terms of appetite. People will be the ones to pay for that collision out of their already scanty pockets.
What exactly happens between the authorities and the opposition now, I don’t know. I do not participate in that process, thank God. I only described the possible options and their likely consequences. Both variants are possible in our reality. Which one of them is being realized in practice, time will show.
On not participating in 2013 elections
First: the fight for power between two natives of Karabakh, longtime companions, was unacceptable for me. It would make it difficult for many people to make a choice and would become a topic for various speculations. Besides, I myself have chosen the incumbent President as a successor, and his desire to run for the second term is understandable.
Second: I wouldn’t like to participate in the formation of a format of three Presidents fighting for power, which is extremely unpleasant, and I believe very harmful for the country.
Third: the search for a political compromise in Armenia has transformed into small-retail political bargaining. This is not what I would like to spend my time, knowledge and experience on.
On “puppet competition”
As for the political competition, it became like a puppet show ahead of elections, which cannot contribute to the effective work of authorities and generates apathy in the society. It’s well known that without competition the authorities sleep peacefully but people, as a rule, live badly.