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Armenia PM on Crisis, Emigration, and Levon Ter-Petrossian’s Speech

There is no political crisis in Armenia for the government to resign, said RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, speaking to journalists after the Q&A in parliament on Monday and responding to a journalist’s comment that the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun, or ARF-D) parliamentary faction is asking for the government’s resignation.

“There is no state where there are accomplished indicators — that’s why it’s called a crisis. The global economic crisis is a serious challenge for nearly all governments, and all economic indicators are reviewed once a week. Yes, every government tries to bypass the crisis and we too are going to try to bypass it; as to how much we will succeed, our citizens will judge,” he said.

Asked by a reporter whether Samvel Nikoyan being elected as the next parliamentary speaker can be viewed also as a victory for the PM (referring to media reports that Tigran Sargsyan is involved in lobbying for Nikoyan), the PM said:

“Your imagination has no limits — there’s no such thing. That is the Republican Party of Armenia’s decision. It’s known that Samvel Nikoyan worked quite effectively in the position of National Assembly deputy chair and it’s quite logical that after the Naitonal Assembly chair’s resignation, the latter would be succeeded by Nikoyan. And the government’s cooperation with the National Assembly I consider to be effective.”

Responding to a question on emigration, Tigran Sargsyan said that in the last 20 years, 1 million 200 thousand citizens have left the country.

“We haven’t entered a stage of growth, but the opposite — we’ve entered a stage of decline, because emigration occurred mainly from 1990 to 1995,” he said.

Asked to comment on Armenian National Congress leader Levon Ter-Petrossian’s Nov. 25 speech (in which he referenced the Prosperous Armenia party), Tigran Sargsyan said:

“The [Armenian National] Congress leader presented his analysis and I believe those who have to comment on that analysis, are free in [their] comments, and I believe that it’s not right for me to comment.”