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Nikol Pashinyan on Serzh Sargsyan’s Vacation and Electing Karen Karapetyan

On Apr. 27, Epress.am sent a letter containing 6 questions to chief editor of local daily Haykakan Jamanak (“Armenian Times”), imprisoned journalist Nikol Pashinyan, as part of a campaign initiated by local news outlets. On May 10, we received Pashinyan’s response to us. We will publish his response to each of our questions incrementally throughout the week. This is the fourth response in this series.

Question: If a change in regime occurs, who from the current administration might be involved in governing the country and in what positions? In 2007–2008, opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrossian was saying that current president Serzh Sargsyan didn’t perform his duties poorly in the 90s (he was a good rank-and-file official). In what position do you see, for example, Serzh Sargsyan after the regime change?

Response: Serzh Sargsyan has worked in the state governing system for a long time and I think he is in need of a long vacation.

Many of today’s high-ranking officials can be useful as an example as to how a Free and Prosperous Armenia state official should not be. But this is my subjective opinion.

If we’re talking about political and elected positions, then heaven forbid, the purpose of our struggle is not for the Armenian National Congress to have the privilege of deciding the fate of political figures. We have one goal: to form power; that is, to return the exclusive right of political figures’ role and place to the people — irreversibly. So that the subject and practice of falsifying elections finally ends, becomes eradicated.

The Armenian National Congress pursues this goal: the aim of turning free, just, transparent, competitive, democratic elections into an indivisible, indestructible, dogmatic part of our public, political, and state life; the aim of turning the free expression of the people’s will into the only source of power.

The rest, who will be where, is a question to be resolved by the people. If the people through the expression of their will and through candidates under equal conditions elect Karen Karapetyan as Yerevan mayor, I will accept that decision regardless of whether I agree with it or not. If I don’t agree, I will do what I can for the people to elect another candidate in the next elections. If again, they vote for Karen Karapetyan, regardless, I myself will feel satisfied, not because Karen Karapetyan was elected, but because the people elected him.

Our aim is not those who will be elected, but those who elect, the voters. It is the expression of the will of the latter that bad officials will be replaced by good ones. Our goal, aha, is to reach the irreversible victory of such an expression of will and not wrapping our subjective tastes around the people’s neck.