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Armenian Authorities will Dialogue with Opposition, But Not on Pre-Term Elections: Sharmazanov

Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) parliamentary faction secretary Eduard Sharmazanov, speaking to journalists in Yerevan today, said the “political spring” was heated, but also constructive and aimed at unity.

“And the 2011 spring positively differentiated from recent political springs in that both the opposition, whether that be parliamentary or extra-parliamentary and, in the first place, the authorities made great efforts toward establishing an environment of dialogue, solidarity and tolerance in Armenia,” he said.

Referring to the recent amnesty approved by parliament as well as amendments to the RA Criminal Code, Sharmazanov stressed that in this sense, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan made an important move when on Apr. 27 he pointed out that he is willing to take steps toward establishing and developing a political culture in the country, as well as easing the tension in the domestic political climate.

The authorities’ positive steps, in Sharmazanov’s opinion, were well received by their extra-parliamentary colleagues. “And even the first president [Armenian National Congress leader Levon Ter-Petrossian] assessed this stage positively, saying he is moving toward open dialogue; moreover, noting that dialogue shouldn’t be interrupted.”

Weighing in on democratic reforms in the country, the HHK spokesperson cited a segment of Sargsyan’s May 28 speech where, in Sharmazanov’s words, the president established a new political agenda and proposed a new resolution for political entities and, in the first place, for the ruling coalition.

“And this resolution lies in the fact that the rights of individuals and citizens are as important as collective national interests. The strongest bulwark against domestic and foreign tremors and defense against external enemies and internal illegalities are free citizens, and only through the existence of free citizens are we able to reach our goals and our dreamed Armenia. This is a new phenomenon in Armenia’s political field,” he said.

To journalists’ observation that the Armenian National Congress says it has one subject to have a dialogue with the authorities on and that is pre-term presidential elections, Sharmazanov said he sees neither the likelihood nor a political or legal reason for holding early elections at this time.

Asked in that case, what will the authorities have a dialogue with the opposition about, the HHK spokesperson said they will dialogue on important political, economic and foreign issues.