By Ruzanna Khachatrian
Leading representatives of Armenia’s coalition appear to be withholding the contents of the agreement by which they shared power and agreed on cooperation in the next five years last week.
The originals of the agreement signed between two pro-establishment forces -- Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and wealthy businessman Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) -- on forming a governing coalition and the separate cooperation deal of the two with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaktsutyun (ARF) are presumably kept in the safe at President Robert Kocharian’s administration.
The two parties of the new coalition do not appear to hold copies of the agreements, with very few people confessing that they have actually seen the original document and are familiar with its contents.
Not a single lawmaker approached by RFE/RL could provide even the copy of the document for publication.
Meanwhile, the parties signing the agreement last Wednesday in the absence of the media agreed to have the document later published in the media.
While, the ARF has published the contents of its agreement with the two-party coalition on its official newspaper’s website, HHK and BHK spokespersons have referred RFE/RL to the government or party leadership for information.
Parliament Speaker Tigran Torosian of the HHK and his deputy Ishkhan Zakarian of the BHK, who had personally put their signatures to the document, were not available for comment as of the hour of the publication.
Deputy Parliament Speaker Vahan Hovannisian of the ARF confirmed that his party members had seen the document. “In general we are, of course, familiar with this document,” he said, however refusing to make any comments regarding its publication. Hovannisian wouldn’t be drawn either on whether there was anything in the document the publication of which was deemed unadvisable.
Aram Safarian, the secretary of the BHK’s parliamentary faction, was the only lawmaker representing a coalition member party who agreed to talk about the issue on the record.
“I am familiar with the details. The chairman of our party as well as deputy speaker of parliament Ishkhan Zakharian presented these details to us. But I haven’t seen the document myself,” he said.
One coalition party representative promised to provide RFE/RL with a copy of the coalition agreement next week.