Karen Karapetyan: “People’s representatives should be identified in elections”
- Good afternoon, dear colleagues, thank you for accepting my invitation. Today I want to share some thoughts with you.
Perhaps you know yesterday’s announcement I applied to the President of the Republic of Armenia asking him to address the political parties, parliamentary, extra-parliamentary groups with a call for consultations in order to arrange and discuss issues in any relevant format. At the same time, I mentioned that there is no closed agenda, especially if the political parties agree, snap elections. Also, taking this opportunity, I want you to make calls for tolerance because you are the most active citizens.
We do not put any limit on the political agenda today and, accordingly, the most logical solution is that political parties sit down and discuss it within the framework of our Constitution.
If they decide that there is a need for extraordinary elections, they will have to determine the time they want to prepare assuming that everyone should face equal rules of the game. In other words, they decide and move forward.
If things keep going like this, we will have economic problems, tourists will not come over and investors will go back. We have conscription, we have many problems. Unstable situation cannot be beneficial to our country, so I am asking all our citizens, grandparents, parents, students and children to see where we want to go. I highly appreciate and respect the citizens’ will and opinion, dissatisfaction, accordingly, we have already responded and complied with some points.
We announce civic agenda; we declare that the political forces should sit down and speak to one another. Let us just let the political forces sit down and talk about each other. This is my anxiety that I want to make heard. I keep my hand on the pulse to see how much tourism is falling, how much business activity is shrinking.
We may come to a position where it will be difficult to reboot the economic situation. We had 10.6% economic growth in the first three months; we were on the rise, and we are well aware that most of our citizens do not feel it yet, but we also need to understand that there is no other option; come to the point of saturation, in which case most of the citizens will begin to feel.
- Mr. Karapetyan, yesterday and today you talked about the possibility of snap elections, that is, you are ready for such a development, such a possibility. But you know that Nikol Pashinyan insists that before the snap parliamentary elections, the ruling majority should elect a candidate for the prime minister in the National Assembly. Please clearly answer, you consider this proposal first and foremost to elect a candidate for the so-called people’s prime minister.
- What do you mean by saying the so called people-named prime minister’s candidate? Please explain?
- Pashinian explained that the candidate will be elected by the calls in the square.
- Look, I do not know any country where people’s representatives are elected that way.
There are elections, there are citizens who are dissatisfied, but how do you measure those citizens want Nikol Pashinyan, other citizens want another candidate and how we behave? Do you know any country where elections are held this way? That is why we suggest holding snap elections, and if he is people’s nominee, he will go.
The Constitution does not prevent their faction from presenting their candidate in the National Assembly, let them represent and if they win, then yes. But we cannot create subjective segments, for example, I am the people of choice, I am the chosen part of this segment, I am the chosen part of the other sector and so on.
- So you rule out this possibility that the authorities will take that step?
- I exclude, because elections cannot be held that way. I do not rule out that the people’s favorite will become a candidate, and that is not my will or desire.
- But not in the square, pointing to Pashinyan.
- Mr. Karapetyan, the following is that if a prime minister is elected, the people’s prime minister is named, the government, the laws will have to be changed, the Electoral Code will need amending, the Law on Parties shall be changed, they will be ready for the snap elections. In this case, there is anxiety that the elections will be rigged again.
- It is a subjective wish of a political force. We had elections in 2017. We have all recorded that it was better than the previous one. We want the next one to be better.
We are not sure whether the next or any election in any country is ideal, because the elections reflect our political culture, all social diseases, and you should agree with me that we have many problems: education, change, to talk to each other, to speak.
- Pashinyan does not believe in this electoral code and system.
- Let us gather the political forces, so that we can create a platform. Let the issue raise, all the issues that are troubling, and we have to sit at the table.
We respect the opinion of our citizens, but we have developed a culture, constitution, laws, and we cannot get out of that field.
We send bad indications to the world, in addition to the fact that we may fall into cataclysms. We can regularly five a subjective interpretation to the concept of people’s representative. There is not such a people’s representative.
- Mr. Prime Minister, the opposition recently expressed dissatisfaction with this rating system and demanded that it be abolished now, when you are talking about snap parliamentary elections, do you mean that the government is ready to take that step and cancel the rating system?
It is not the government’s task, it is the task of political forces, it is the Parliament’s problem, and I have stated that there is no limit, let the political forces meet so that it is not by the will of a political force.
Based on my most patriotic feelings, I do not exclude it, but it is up to the political forces to decide how we will hold extraordinary elections, how we change the rules of the game, if that is not necessary?
- Mr. Karapetyan, Nikol Pashinyan says that the Republican Party should leave and none of the Republican Party should be nominated as Prime Minister. Assuming that the Republican Party nominates a candidate within a seven-day period, I would like to learn whether the faction has a candidate? There is much talk about you.
- See, I respect the political opinion of all our politicians and leaders, but when we talk about political culture, tolerance can be criticized, but it cannot be said ultimately that something cannot happen. Who decides it?
It is a choice to decide one option, maybe to whom Nikol Pashinyan does not like, an array loves it and vice versa. Now, if the other party comes out, let us say that this party should be abolished.
Do we want to go to dictatorship? Do we want to dictate, make a choice, understand who we want our masses? The next election will also have shortcomings.
I am not telling you beforehand to justify something, but we must understand that the illnesses, problems, the level of education, the level of dependence, all the pains and diseases that our society has, are moving to political parties, and these diseases are present in all political parties, including our party, our political team, and we all have to work on it to make it change.
- What is the atmosphere inside the party, the press writes a lot that there are already some disagreements within the party?
- It is a working atmosphere.
- Mr. Karapetyan, as you have clearly stated that it is ruled out that the ruling force may approve the candidate nominated in the street...
- Sorry you did not say that, I do not exclude it. And that “I” should be eliminated in our political culture. I do not exclude it.
- The authorities ...
- Neither the authorities, but the law. We have said that the people’s choice and the people’s vote of confidence are determined through elections. And if a certain mass trusts someone ... Which by the indication we are saying that it is the people’s choice? One mark is the choice, but there is no indication. If you know any country where it is so, point me out.
- Well, you say that the law bans it, and there is no such an opportunity. Do you not worry that by declining that offer, we may have the same scenario as we saw over the past few days...?
- We do not reject. This political force today has the opportunity to present its candidate in the National Assembly, in accordance with the Constitution and the norms and rules of the game that are applicable today. Let them present a nominee, let their faction submit a candidate before saying we are the people’s choice when the election has not been completed.
- Are you not afraid that the situation will be tense again, Mr. Karapetyan?
- I am afraid and I have a solution. I have suggested that all political forces sit down and negotiate along the lines defined in the Constitution and negotiate over the rules of the game, instead of trying to dictate their conditions. It is crucial to return to normal life.
- Mr. Karapetyan, has the President of Armenia responded to your call for holding a meeting with the political forces, and when the meeting will take place?
- I think he may have responded. I have not personally seen him, but I talked to him this morning and could see that either he was worried about the situation. I think that besides responding, he will have private meetings, telephone conversations, etc. And I hope all our political forces will take up the challenge. I hope all our citizens will urge the political forces to sit down and find solutions.
We have no other option: if we do not find a solution, we will have problems in the economy, in everything. It will affect each of us, salary, growth, pensions, recruiting, tourist, etc.
We have many investors whose programs are on the agenda, on our table that we had to go and we decided to postpone the decision.
- Negotiations seem to be doomed to failure: first, the meeting with Serzh Sargsyan went incomplete, and then the meeting with you was canceled.
- That is why I asked the President of the Republic of Armenia to create a special platform. You may have heard my comment and Mr. Nikol Pashinyan’s comment on the failure of our meeting.
As far as I know, there is no any contradiction; there is simply no negotiation and dialogue there. Unfortunately, the meeting did not have prospects.
And a last remark: I am extremely interested that you, as active Armenian citizens, should try to advocate tolerance, because the consequences of all this are not good. Thank you, be happy.