Acting Prime Minister Karen Karapetian said on Friday that opposition leader Nikol Pashinian should use a comprehensive policy program, rather than street protests, in trying to get lawmakers to elect him Armenia’s new premier.
“I think that Mr. Pashinian has a program on what kind of a country he wants to build, which targets he sets for security, foreign relations, economic growth, social justice and so on,” Karapetian told the Shant TV channel. “We must choose a program. We are not going to elect a good, decent and authoritative person. We are going to elect an idea.”
“Come to the National Assembly with your program and if you have [enough] votes get them and become prime minister,” he said, appealing to Pashinian. “But to monopolize things, to say that ‘only I can be prime minister,’ ‘there is no other candidate,’ ‘I am setting the agenda of negotiations and you can’t have your own agenda’ … I don’t think this is the kind of society we want to build.”
“We need to elect a [government policy] program, not a person,” said Karapetian. “We need to elect a team. We need to have the ability to listen to one another. We need to be tolerant.
“We don’t deny our share of the blame, which may be very large, for this atmosphere of intolerance and many social problems. But we must get out of this situation by talking to each other, admitting our mistakes and hearing others’ views.”
Pashinian maintains that the unprecedented wave of anti-government protests triggered by him across Armenia has given him a popular mandate to govern the country at least until the holding of snap parliamentary elections demanded by you. So far he has not unveiled a detailed plan of policies which he would pursue in case of coming to power. He has only pledged to prevent electoral fraud, crack down on corruption, and boost the rule of law.
The current government is guided by a five-year policy program which was approved by the parliament last June. It commits the government to ensuring that the Armenian economy grows by around 5 percent annually on the back of soaring exports. The government is supposed to achieve this objective by improving the domestic investment climate, assisting export-oriented manufacturers and combatting corruption.
After visiting Yerevan late last month, a senior official from the International Monetary Fund said the government is committed to implementing a “comprehensive reform agenda” supported by the program.