Remarks by Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan after Publication of Voting Results at National Assembly Special Session
Distinguished National Assembly Speaker,
Dear Members of Parliament.
Thank you. I am thankful to my colleagues from the Republican Party of Armenia and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation for nominating me for the position of Prime Minister and defending my candidacy before the National Assembly.
We, as a political coalition, have made a serious commitment. We realize its implications, and stand ready to make consistent efforts in order to develop the country and provide better living standards for our people.
I thank all our partners from Tsarukyan Bloc. I assure you that your ambitious activity has always played a control role for the political coalition. You have been able to stand up from the primitive way of working as “we are opponents and we must criticize or always vote against.” When necessary, you have been guided by State interests and not by political considerations. For this very reason, your criticism is perceived as impartial which makes policy makers pay close attention to it. I assure you that the authorities constantly feel your breathing in the back, and it is really awakening.
I also thank the partners of the Exit Bloc. Active parliamentary proceedings can only be carried out through daily work, clash of thoughts and brainstorming, joint efforts and constant learning. Thank you for your role. Under the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, from now on we will have many opportunities for direct contacts.
I hope that there are many misunderstandings and syllogisms that will be overcome quickly and, irrespective of our political disagreements, we will become good friends. I would like to give you three pieces of advice, if you do not mind.
First of all, I really want you to get rid of the syndrome of ignoring the opponent’s opinion, which is characteristic to the Armenian opposition. This was manifested here, in this hall, when Artak Zeynalyan asked a question, expecting a response. Your queries from the podium in the form of a speech did not expect answers, and this is bad. It will be useful for you as thereby you may come aware of the situation.
You blamed me for the syndrome of creating my own world and enjoying it, but that syndrome seems to be more characteristic to you. You have created a world for yourself; you are speaking on behalf of the whole nation without having the right to speak on behalf of the people, even though you do not understand that it is over. After the constitutional reform, no one has the right to speak on behalf of the people. Only the political majority can speak on behalf of the people. Our efforts will succeed only if we respect the Constitution.
Secondly, I would advise my very young colleague who has far-reaching political ambitions, to be guided by the rules of parliamentary proceedings Please note that this is not a law-court where verdicts are read out. People are supposed to face charges in a court. Here you can call for responsibility. Yes, I accept the calls for political responsibility for both good and bad.
You may believe that we are back to the 1990s and beyond. What can I say if you do not want to accept my advice? But at the same time, I repeat once again: please note that this is a parliament, where laws are passed and decisions are made rather than verdicts.
My third tip is the following: please do everything to bring your colleague in from the street. It will be your greatest achievement. Our political force and I myself have never had any thirst for blood. We have seen a lot of blood, but I have never had the thirst even for the enemy’s blood.
If you deem that the seizure of public institutions is a peaceful demonstration, if you consider that the demonstrators should come and sit in your offices in the building of the National Assembly and write laws instead of you, then this is your approach. If not, you should be on the opposite side: you must be on the side of the law.
People should not act as law offenders. If so, millions of people would have taken to the streets. You know better than me how many people are participating in these demonstrations. But as I noted, this is just advice, not compulsion, neither a verdict nor a charge.
I thank the National Assembly leadership and staff for organizing this important political process on a proper level. Mr. Babloyan, thank you.
While presenting the government program, we will talk more about our country’s development and our understanding of the problems.
Now, we are in for the stage of government formation, which will not take too long. During the discussion of the program, we will be able to state that the transition to the parliamentary system of governance, at least in terms of institutionalization, has been properly overcome. It is time to materialize these institutions, and I am confident that we can do it together.
And before that, I wish good luck and good mood to all of you. I wish we could cope with the syndrome of unconditional opposition in everything and return to the constructive field. This stems from the interests of the Republic of Armenia. This is an imperative for the future.
Thank you all.