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Dashnaktsutyun Calls for Major Political Change - Parliament Speaker Could Lose Job


The parliamentary leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation,
Dashnaktsutyun today called for a major political change both in the parliament and in the government, in order to come out of the current political situation, Aghvan Vardanian who was speaking at the Azdak Club's customary Saturday round-table, strongly criticized the parliamentary majority; Miyasnutyun for the constant bickering and disagreements that have marred relations between its two constituent parties; the People's Party of Armenia and the Republicans. Mr. Vardanian complained that following the October 27, 1999 massacre of political leaders in the parliament, Miyasnutyun has not lived up to its calling and " no serious political work can be done in this situation". The representative of Dashnaktsutyun even criticized president Kocharian for lack of decisive action in clarifying the political situation in the country. Mr. Vardanian's party is
seen as an ally of Mr. Kocharian and such declarations can have the backing of the president.

It is possible to form a " strong, organized, professional, dedicated and morally untainted team" said Mr. Vardanian. This idea was repeated a number of times , although it was not clear whether he was speaking about the parliament or the government. According to observers, lately Dashnaktsutyun has been voicing the idea that a better working majority is needed in the parliament
which in turn could lead to major changes in the Cabinet of Ministers.

In a related development, five deputies of the People's Party of Armenia can face disciplinary action by their party for voting in favor of a government proposed bill on civil service. Among them, the Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Armen Khachatrian and Deputy Speaker Gagik Aslanian on Thursday broke ranks with their party and voted in favor of a bill that according to critics would enhance president Kocharian's influence on the government apparatus. Although the bill
was defeated, but party regional branches are demanding disciplinary action against the five deputies. According to our correspondent, both Khachatrian and Aslanian could lose their posts but remain deputies in parliament.

Hrach Melkumian, Margarit Yessyan
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