By Shake Avoyan
A senior member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) has effectively endorsed the decision of the governing party to reshuffle its leadership in the legislature and played down his party’s differences with senior coalition partners on other issues.
Vahan Hovannisian said at a press conference on Thursday that despite the constitutional reform of 2005, which provided for an increased role of parliament, other conditions are necessary to translate this change into action.
“Two elements were required in order to use the opportunity of becoming a counterbalance to the executive. These are an improved professional quality of the National Assembly and a decisive and courageous National Assembly chairman. I think that one of the elements concerning the National Assembly speaker needs to be improved,” the Dashnaktsutyun Bureau member said. He added, though, that only time will show the effectiveness of the Republican Party’s decision to replace Tigran Torosian with another senior party figure, Hovik Abrahamian, in the post of parliament speaker.
Hovannisian also commented on the circulating opinions that the change of parliament leadership in reality is a prelude to the return of former president Robert Kocharian to active politics in the capacity of prime minister.
Asked whether Dashnaktsutyun wanted the ex-president to return to active politics, Hovannisian said: “Robert Kocharian is an independent political figure. When he decides to return to politics, he will do so. We do not have such an agenda.”
Hovannisian also countered the claims that Dashnaktsutyun has major disagreements with coalition partners. Critics say that Dashnaktsutyun-led protests staged while President Abdullah Gul of Turkey was visiting Armenia contradicted the spirit of cooperation with the rest of the coalition.
Hovannisian in this regard said that “not everything in Armenia should be done with the “go-ahead”. He asserted Dashnaktsutyun’s right to do what it considers appropriate and noted that they have not received any complaints from the coalition partners that would suggest their wrongdoing.
But Hovannisian considers it wrong that Turkey is reaping more benefits from Armenia’s initiative than Armenia itself.
“I consider that it is the expression of the frequently noticed passivity of our diplomacy. We have seen a lot of this,” he said.
Hovannisian said that Dashnaktsutyun discusses these issues with its coalition partners, but added that it is more advisable that such issues should be discussed by the National Security Council.
“If political forces see that no common approach emerges within the coalition regarding these issues, they may draw their conclusions. But I must say that there is no such issue yet,” Hovannisian concluded.