October 22, 2005
In “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun’s” view, the clearer the essence of the opposition’s stance the more it becomes uninteresting. “It is obvious with a naked eye that the opposition that has repeatedly declared about its revolutionary actions and failed on every occasion does not want to give up its dream of power and now wants the referendum to be turned into another occasion for realizing its dream,” the paper writes. The paper’s analyst asserts that this political pretentiousness of the opposition leaders comes not from their promises of reforms given to the public but from their lust for power.
In an interview with “168 Zham”, “Hanrapetutyun” party leader Aram Sarkisian underlines: “Let there be fair struggle in equal conditions. And if the majority says “Yes”, then I will understand that my “No” makes a minority and will draw political conclusions for myself. But if they say “No”, then they [the authorities] should draw conclusions and take the consequences. It will be a referendum of confidence, and if they rig it again, they will have to resign by all means, and we will have to get down to revolutionary actions.”
“I consider Aram Sarkisian’s proposal to join efforts to ensure the free and fair conduct of the referendum to be absolutely acceptable. But these two questions – to ensure the freeness and fairness of the ballot and saying good-bye to politics – have nothing in common,” Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) Supreme Council of Armenia Representative Armen Rustamian tells “Haykakan Zhamanak”.
In his opinion, “No” will have certain consequences, and in that case a need will emerge to draw serious conclusions and make corrections in further activities. But there is no simply turning “No” into a process of power change and a vote of confidence in the authorities, Armen Rustamian stresses.
“Hayots Ashkharh” predicts that soon after November 27, after some short-term noise over the referendum and attempts to protest its results, the slogan “Yes” to the constitution and “No” to the authorities will be adopted by many of the key forces of the radical camp preparing for the 2007 parliamentary elections on the basis of the reformed constitution.
National Assembly Chairman Artur Baghdasarian is to order the National Assembly’s Surveillance Chamber to see to the issue of voter lists on the threshold of the constitutional referendum, “Aravot” writes. “Ten working groups have been formed to carry out inspections in Yerevan and in the regions of the republic.”
In response to the opposition’s accusations that foreign citizens and organizations, in particular representatives of the Council of Europe, violate the law on the referendum by speaking in favor of the constitutional changes, Deputy Parliament Speaker Tigran Torosian notes in “Aravot”: “At the time when these people and the same structures had a rather tough position, no one would say – why are you meddling in our country’s international affairs?”
Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Yuri Baluyevski stated in Yerevan that there is no need for increasing the number of personnel of the Russian military base stationed in Armenia, “Golos Armenii” reports. The paper quotes the Russian military chief as saying during a joint press conference with his Armenian counterpart on Friday: “The number of personnel corresponds to the tasks set to the military station.” At the same time, according to the paper, he pointed out: “The program of the development of armed forces of Russia envisages increasing the qualitative level, which will also concern the ammunition of the Russian military base stationed in Armenia.”
“Hanrapetutyun” party chief of staff Artak Zeynalian informed Yerevan’s municipality that the party will hold its congress in the square near Matenadaran on October 25, “Hayakakan Zhamanak” reports, explaining; “Hanrapetutyun” made that extraordinary decision after the government refused to provide it with its sitting halls for holding their congress.”