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 Tuesday, December 8 2015

Степанян Դավիթ Stepanyan Ստեփանյան David Давид

Republicans will have to share power with Prosperous Armenia and ARF Dashnaktsutyun in 2017

 Republicans will have to share power with Prosperous Armenia and ARF Dashnaktsutyun in 2017

 “Yes” to the new Constitution, said if not by majority of the Armenian society, but the power majority, set the record straight related to the authorities’ further intentions and plans in Armenia. In your opinion will the Republicans manage to receive majority again in new parliament of 2017?

 

 It is more possible, that Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) will not gain the majority and will have to share the power with Prosperous Armenia and ARF Dashnaktsutyun, which may become its “junior partners”. The fact that these Parties supported the idea of Constitutional referendum and recognized the legitimacy of the referendum results counts for this version.  Now it can be expected that they will have chances to claim seats in the parliament and in the future government. However, RPA will of course maintain the leading role.

 

 There is a version, according to which the Constitutional amendments in Armenia where initiated by  “Western order” as well, which has ambitious aims, naturally conflicting with the Russian ones. What do you think of this?

 

It is obvious, that the US Embassy did not actively countered holding of the referendum, its stand was primarily neutral. It had no intention to demonstrate active involvement, aimed at overthrowing the third president of Armenia, as it happened with Shirvanzade, Yanukovich or the current Syrian president Bashar Asad. This neutral stand may however change, but not in the near future. After the referendum the USA and its allies will try to use the situation in order to support in parliamentary elections of 2017 those Armenian politicians, whom they sympathize. Unlike the USA, Moscow prefers not to play its own game in the Armenian domestic political space; it mainly takes into account the international level of our bilateral relations and the common security problems. External factors may have serious impact on Armenia. The problem of terrorism and everything that happens in Iraq, Syria and the neighboring countries may seriously affect the whole South Caucasus region. Obviously, this impact will lead to new problems for Armenia and the whole region rather than will contribute to the solving of the existing ones.

 

 The new Constitution proposes “blurring” of the power authorities and consequently, the responsibilities between the government, parliament and the president. Is such situation in the interests of Armenia’s partners, and Russia in particular?

 

 This causes serious concerns over the efficiency of the new mechanism of power. However, it remains to be seen whether these fears will become real.

 

 One has the impression that the change from the semi-presidential to parliamentary form of government in such countries as Armenia is nothing else then a way to establish collective irresponsibility. What are the perspectives of this in your opinion, taking into consideration the unsettled Karabakh conflict and ISIS, terrorizing in 500 km?

 

Collective irresponsibility is a suicide path for the whole ruling elite. Hardly any of Armenian politicians will prioritize this path. It is more possible that other political tasks are being settled, such as power retention in the context of termination of Serzh Sargsyan’s second presidential term and the perspective of upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections. It is not likely that the authors of the current Constitutional reforms have in advance developed an action program for a long-term perspective. They need to solve the problem of 2017 and 2018 elections and the further developments will depend on the results of these elections and new political setup.

 

 The new Constitution provides the president with “vague” right to appoint the commanders of Armed Forces and to award military ranks exclusively out of the candidates, suggested by the prime minister. In case a war is declared the prime minister will become the Chief Commander of Armed Forces. At the same time, the prime minister will practically depend on the Republican Party, having majority in the parliament. Won’t such blurring of the army command lead to new threats and risks of Armenia and Artsakh’s national security?

 

 Such threat may arise in case the prime minister does not control the situation in the parliament and the ruling party. If he manages to control everything the strict vertical power system will be maintained and there will be no blurring in the command of army. In this case the situation will depend on whether the parliamentary system will be more effective in solving social-economic problems in Armenia. For Armenia the situation will also depend on the external factors, particularly, how the situation will develop in Iraq, Syria and the neighboring countries. And surely, a lot will depend on whether US Embassy will maintain neutral stand personally toward the third president and possible future prime minister of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan. 

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