YEREVAN — Armenia’s former Deputy Defense Minister and member of Social Democrat Hunchakian Party Central Committee Vahan Shirkhanyan answering questions of the press this week stated that Armenia faces a critical situation where a clash of political personalities is constant, as opposed to competing ideologies and programs which ultimately contribute to a country’s political and economic health.
The Hunchakian party sees the solutions to Armenia’s problems not in the personalities change, but in the change of the whole system. Mr. Shirkhanyan thinks of two key tasks: first, the recognition of independence of the existing borders of the NKR, the second is to overcome the 20-year-old socio-economic crisis, through legal and economic reforms for the improvement of socio-economic conditions of the Armenia’s populace. He underlined that to resolve social and economical problems; Armenia must reject the liberal formula and take up a social democrat model, entirely altering the government system.
This political deficiency has led to two wings of liberal ideology to negotiate not on the core issues of concern that need to be addressed for a better future of Armenia, but rather on who will take the helm and continue the current socio-economic policies of the past 20 years. “Political struggle is the struggle of ideas. There is, however, no struggle of ideas between authorities and Armenian National Congress (ANC), it’s a battle of personalities,” Shirkhanyan said. The current negotiations between the ANC and the authorities will not change the system, that is, lead the country out of the critical socio-economic situation which it faces today.
Shirkhanyan also excluded the possibility of pre-term presidential election in Armenia. “There is no prerequisite, and the authorities do not face an immediate tangible “political crisis, which brings about resignations, the Armenian authorities’ motives are obvious; they have actually strengthened their hand by being receptive to negotiations.” The authorities entered into a dialogue because a segment of opposition that was struggling in the streets. The authorities were able to persuade this segment into negotiations, which is without a doubt politically beneficial to the authorities. Yet, he finds it difficult to explain the reasons for the ANC’s consent to start and take part in these negotiations.

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