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Paradox of Armenian opposition: the more they need to unite, the more they split

Paradox of Armenian opposition: the more they need to unite, the more they split

Unable to unite, the Armenian opposition will logically proceed to nominate several candidates at 2013 presidential vote.

On July 13, the opposition Armenian National Congress (ANC) tried to collect 44 parliamentary signatures for calling a special session to set up an ad hoc parliamentary committee to investigate the severe beating and death of Vahe Avetyan in Harsnakar restaurant. ANC managed to gather just 21 signatures, including 7 from ANC, 6 from Prosperous Armenia party, 5 from Heritage and 3 from ARD Dashnaktsutyun.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Still, the most exciting part of this referred not to the result, but rather the process of signature collection, which again vividly demonstrated incapability of the Armenian opposition to cooperate normally, even in view of the public demand.

The process launch was quite interesting; at July 12 press conference, head of the ANC parliamentary group Levon Zurabyan declared that following the discussions with Prosperous Armenia, ARFD and Heritage they initiated the process of convocation of a special parliamentary session. Zurabyan first emphasized that the decision came as result of a four-party discussion, then for some reason named it an ANC initiative; however, when asked why the four parties sent no representatives to meet the journalists, with only Zurabyan present, he provided no specific answer.

The response came later, when Naira Zohrabyan, secretary of the Prosperous Armenia's parliamentary group denied this initiative of ANC, while leaders of Heritage and ARFD factions Ruben Hakobyan and Armen Rustamyan admitted that Zurabyan's press conference was a surprise for them. While being surprised at Zurabyan's statement, Hakobyan declared that Heritage is a co-author of the initiative.

Further developments were even more exciting (Friday, 13th must have had its contribution here). Despite her signature under the initiative, Zohrabyan told the journalists she had mentioned at the discussion the inexpediency and inability to collect 44 signatures at this moment. As to statements of Heritage representatives saying that vacation time can be no excuse, Zohrabyan remarked emotionally: “We are not asking them to tell us what to do.” According to her, those of Prosperous Armenia MPs who are currently in Armenia and willing to sign the petition will sign it anyway. “I cannot make them sign the paper,” she stressed.

Zohrabyan went farther to say she cannot understand the dispute about the copyright of this issue. “If such question arises, however, I must say the initiative belongs to ANC. Heritage party is used to attributing statements of others to itself, and I believe ANC that has recently joined the parliament will gradually adapt to surprises of Heritage,” she noted.

In addition, the Prosperous Armenia member claimed that actions of Heritage representatives have always been and still are within the limits of a strictly controlled program.

“Heritage party is not an independent political force, and its members are just running errands, as much as they can… Now, the party has to perform a new task, that is, distract the public attention and transfer the public movement and revolt to another field, drive it to some other direction. Naturally, they will fail in this. Basically, the Prosperous Armenia must consider whether it should join the initiative and the format agreed upon and signed by members of this faction. My personal opinion is it shouldn't,” Zohrabyan added.

So, one can state that the situation with the inter-party headquarters to counter forgery at the May 6 parliamentary elections is occurring again, with ANC, Prosperous Armenia and ARFD on the one hand and Heritage on the other hand; the first three accused the latter of a collusion with the ruling Republican Party of Armenia and an attempt to push forward the idea of an inter-party headquarters.

Unable to unite, the Armenian opposition will logically proceed to nominate several candidates at 2013 presidential vote. This will split supporters of the opposition, and hence help the authorities, naturally. Also, unless the opposition manages to moderate its ambitions and demonstrate the real wish to work for the welfare of the people it is allegedly caring for, its political struggle will have a quite deplorable outcome.

Hayk Khalatyan / PanARMENIAN News
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