Friday, August 16 2019 12:06
David Stepanyan

Rachya Arzumanyan: Former power in Artsakh today solves the problem  of its own reproduction

Rachya Arzumanyan: Former power in Artsakh today solves the problem  of its own reproduction

ArmInfo.Security expert Rachya Arzumanyan, in an interview with ArmInfo, shared his vision of the unofficial election campaign in Artsakh, commented on the background,  the possibilities and intentions of candidates for the presidential  race scheduled for 2020. He expressed the idea of the need for an  alternative candidate. He predicted possible internal and external  consequences if the current authorities made mistakes in the election  campaign.

- Does Artsakh have "exclusive" problems that are different from the  general Armenian problems?

The main problems today are common, they are inherent in all Armenian  statehood. These are the consequences of the oligarchy being in power  and, as a result, of the formed oligarchic political system.  With  all its minuses inherent in the oligarchy: the plunder of the  country, the impoverishment of the people, the decline in the combat  effectiveness of the army, etc., etc.

- Does all this continue today in Artsakh, given that the power is  still the same?

The former power in Artsakh today solves the problem of its own  reproduction in order to maintain power.  Thus, the problem of the  oligarchy in Artsakh is not resolved today. And until new people come  to power in Artsakh with new ideas, discussing anything else seems  pointless. If the change of power fails, the task remains unresolved,  we will deal with another Artsakh and, accordingly, are forced to  solve other problems. Accordingly, now the paramount task is to  determine how Artsakh will enter and go through the electoral process  and whether it is possible to ensure the removal of political forces  that are representatives of the old establishment and ensure the  transit of power to the new one.

- Do candidates who have already drawn up a public application for  participation in the presidential election allow hope for such a  transit?

All candidates who have expressed their intention to participate in  the elections, in one way or another, are associated with the  outgoing authorities. This is one group of persons, forces known to  everyone quite well.  The real, main candidate for power is Araik  Harutyunyan. And there is Samvel Babayan, who is not part of the  government today, but is a man who was in power during the war, after  the war. He was a dictator of Artsakh in the post-war period. And how  he intends, how Babayan will act, once in power, is a completely  different issue. In any case, Samvel Babayan - a man from the past,  what he has become today - is a completely different issue. However,  many in Artsakh would like to see the president as a new face with  new approaches. It is too early to discuss specific names, there are  different points of view, but the principles that the new candidate  must comply with are clear.

- I don't know to what extent this version is true, but Samvel  Babayan, allegedly, is setting the stage for Robert Kocharian's  "return" to Artsakh:

I heard about this version. But I do not think that it is true.  Samvel Babayan sets the stage exclusively for his own return to  power. And the only question that Samvel Babayan needs to ask is what  he intends to do with this very authority afterwards, having already  come to power? Because the first thing he intends to do is imprison  the oligarchs who have plundered Artsakh over the past two decades  and return all the loot. He declares this quite openly and most of  the people support him in this intention. This is one of the main  topics that allows Babayan to have his own electorate. And what will  Samvel Babayan do, having put the former power behind bars and  returning the loot - a question that needs to be asked by Babayan  himself. 

To date, there are only two candidates for the presidency of Artsakh,  the participation of one of which is still in question?

Yes. Samvel Babayan's participation is indeed in question. There was  Vitaliy Balasanyan, but the incorrect organization of the election  campaign, the incorrect statement of his own position led to the fact  that today we can't talk about Balasanyan as a real candidate. Thus,  in elections, forces either representing the past or from the past  clash with an incomprehensible attitude to the future. That is why  many would like to see a third candidate who would look to the  future.

- The recent visit to Artsakh by "comrades from Moscow" Kolerov and  Tarasov seemed to be directed against the ideas of the miatsum  (association). Does this bother you?

I am worried when the Armenian media pay attention to individuals who  are marginalized in Russia itself.  They are marginalized both in  Armenia and Artsakh. Accordingly, do not pay attention to what they  say.  These comrades represent the interests of a fairly narrow  circle of people in Russia and certainly not the Kremlin. To spend  energy in order to figure out who Kolerov or Tarasov are working for,  for us Armenians, I think, is a waste of time. I assess the reaction  to the visit of these people to Artsakh as too exalted. They simply  should not be noticed. That would be the best solution for us. In its  desire to reproduce itself, power in Artsakh is trying to grab hold  of any straw. Kolerov helps them in solving this problem, they will  meet with Kolerov, Vasya Pupkin will help them to solve it, they will  meet with Vasya Pupkin.

- Does the ongoing struggle for power reduce the degree of security  of Artsakh?

Instability in Artsakh may occur after the authorities deny Samvel  Babayan the opportunity to legitimately take part in fair and  transparent elections. I believe that the admission of Babayan to the  elections would be fair and correct. Otherwise, destabilization may  indeed begin in Artsakh. Babayan will simply switch to street  fighting methods, protests, civil disobedience. Babayan has already  stated that he does not have the slightest desire to resort to such  methods, but if the authorities leave him no choice, he will do so.  Society has the right to civil disobedience. A year ago, we clearly  saw this in Armenia. Why can this be possible in Yerevan and  impossible in Stepanakert? However, in this case, a period of  relative destabilization of the situation will arise in Artsakh. And  how the situation can be stabilized so that the enemy could not use  it is a serious enough question. The simplest answer is simply not to  resort to such methods and not to force Babayan to take the path of  street fighting. Accordingly, otherwise the fault and responsibility  will primarily fall on the authorities.

- In the Stepanakert speech of the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol  Pashinyan, there were no allusions to Yerevan's preferences in  determining the future head of Artsakh. Do you expect the appearance  of "your" candidate from Yerevan?

The question is quite serious. The fact is that Araik Harutyunyan  periodically emphasizes the presence of "support for Yerevan" in his  unofficial election campaign. As an expert who analyzed the field, I  can firmly believe that such statements are far from reality. And  today Harutyunyan does not have such support. And it seems to me that  until the very last day of the election race in Artsakh there will be  no explicit indications of a favorite from Yerevan. How expedient it  is is a slightly different question. I would like the public new  government in Armenia to publicly support public politicians from  Artsakh. She supported the third public candidate, who, as many here  hope, will nevertheless appear. 

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