We place no restrictions on political agenda – Karen Karapetyan

12:55 • 25.04.18



The authorities do not impose any restraints on our political agenda today to restrict the opposition’s chances to negotiate with the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA), Acting Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan said today, commenting on the recent political developments in the country.  


Speaking at a news conference, he also made calls for a political tolerance, stressing the need of talks among the political forces to discuss the expediency and possible format of snap parliamentary elections.


Karapetyan also warned of possible economic challenges stemming from the current domestic political situation.


“We will definitely have economic problems if we go on like this,” he said, highlighting particularly a drop in the tourism statistics.


Karapetyan on Tuesday met with Nikol Pashinyan, the leader of the Civil Contract party (and an opposition MP from the parliamentary faction Yelk), who proposed “power transfer” plan through early parliamentary elections. Karapetyan rejected the offer, considering it unrealistic.


“We respected our citizens, and reacted correspondingly to meet certain demands,” he told reporters today.


Pashinyan, who led the civic movement Reject Serzh! (demanding the Serzh Sargsyan’s resignation as prime minister), said at the Tuesday meeting that the “square will eventually elect the prime minister”.


Commenting on the opposition leader’s remarks, Karapetyan said he isn’t aware of any such procedure in any country.


“Yes, there are many discounted citizens in the square, but how are we supposed to measure the criteria? Do you know any country which elects ‘the people’s favorite in such a manner? What we propose is a snap election. And I do not rule out that that the ‘people’s favorite’ will be the candidate,” he added.

Karapetyan said he sees snap parliamentary elections as the only possible way out in the current circumstances.


“Accept it or not, elections reflect the existing ‘ailments’ in our political culture, and in our society. We are practically facing a lot of problems in terms of educating and changing ourselves, developing a political culture, debating and holding a dialogue. This is why I see only one option, i.e. – elections [for paving way] for the people’s favorite. So the political forces are absolutely free to meet and discuss [future plans],” he added.

Karapetyan also stressed the urgent importance of a political consensus. Asked to comment on Pashinyan’s statement that a member of the ruling Republican Party cannot be candidate of prime minister, the acting premier said, “I certainly respect the political opinion of our leaders and [public and political] figures; criticism, however, should be preferred to ultimatums when it comes to political culture and tolerance. Who makes the decision after all? Elections appear to be the only way to do that.”

 

Karapetyan, who joined the Republican Party shortly after his appointment as prime minister in 2016, said the ruling party is now “in a working atmosphere” to consider future plans and actions. He admitted that he has certain concerns, as well as solutions “for the political parties to negotiate on”. He warned that internal political instabilities potentially undermine the economic situation, negatively affecting the salaries, pensions and economic growth, as well as foreign investments.

 

Armenian News - Tert.am





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