Armenian parliament approves new government program
The National Assembly of Armenia considered and approved the program presented by the Cabinet of Ministers today. The main provisions of the program were presented by the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan.
Extraordinary parliamentary elections
Nikol Pashinyan started by stating that the current government is entrusted with a historic mission – the achievement of post-revolutionary successes. And this must be done, first of all, on the basis of a free and fair will of the people:
“The main factor that hindered the development of Armenia for many years and was the cause of all systemic problems is the distortion of the will of the people during the election period. We consider this to be the main evil of the Third Republic. Throughout its independence, the results of all parliamentary and presidential elections in Armenia were rigged, except for the 1991 presidential elections and the 1999 parliamentary elections.
Our most important task is to hold early parliamentary elections. And the main goal of this election should be a return to the people of the mechanism for holding fair, just and transparent elections. ”
Pashinyan proclaimed the need for a radical change in the electoral code and the holding of extraordinary parliamentary elections throughout the year, without haste:
“This will make it possible not only to improve the electoral code, but it will also alleviate time constraints to allow political forces to get ready for the elections.”
The Prime Minister said that his government is going to fight tough against corruption, and it will be easy for them to achieve success – since the head of state is not corrupt. And this, Pashinian assured, is the most important precondition for the eradication of corruption:
“I will never be involved in corrupt deals. I will not have any income on the side. I will not have any property, business or securities. And I demand the same from every member of the government. ”
The new government is also planning to fight monopolies and strive to create equal conditions for business and attract investment:
“Any investor who wants to work in Armenia should feel protected. And I am personally the guarantor of every investment that will be made in Armenia. I have already ordered to set up a special department in the National Security Service to ensure investment security.”
Pashinyan appealed to the Armenians of the Diaspora with an appeal to come to their historical homeland and make investments. He assured that they will not encounter artificial barriers in Armenia, as his government is going to take steps to separate power and business.
Nikol Pashinyan said that following the revolution many international organizations and countries expressed their readiness to support Armenia, and his government is going to take advantage of this opportunity.
Among the key tasks of the economic policy, Nikol Pashinyan noted the creation of new jobs, poverty reduction, increased salaries and benefits, and continued growth in the level of people’s well-being.
According to the government program, Armenia will remain part of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which are under the aegis of Russia. The primary task of the government will be to deepen cooperation both with Russia, and with the United States and the European Union.
“Our policy was not and will not be pro-American. Our policy was not and will not be pro-European. Our policy was not and will not be pro-Russian. Our policy was not and will not be anti-American, anti-European or anti-Russian. The core task of our foreign policy is to ensure the sovereignty and security of our state and our interests,” the prime minister said.
He declared important directions of Armenia’s foreign policy in relations with Iran, Georgia, and China.
Pashinyan explained this position:
“We attach special importance to relations with China and believe that China’s activity in our region can serve as a new impetus bringing new content to the relations of Iran, Armenia and Georgia.”
The Karabakh problem
Commenting on the Karabakh conflict, Nikol Pashinyan once again noted that the negotiation process cannot be effective and complete without the participation of Nagorno Karabakh:
“I cannot assign myself the right to negotiate on behalf of the people of Artsakh, because for this I have no legal, political or moral grounds. The people of Nagorno-Karabakh do not participate in the elections in Armenia and the formation of power. Instead, this people have their own power, its parliament, government and president. And this people can only be represented by a legal and legitimate representative.”
He also said that the Karabakh problem has no military solution, but, if necessary, the army will give a worthy rebuff.
Criticism from the former ruling party, now in opposition
The main problem of the presented program is the absence of specifics and figures. This opinion was expressed by the representatives of the former ruling party, the Republican Party of Armenia.
“This is a memorandum of goals and dreams, in which there are no mechanisms to achieve these goals, nor specific sequence of steps, terms and expected indicators. Our government has passed to your government at least 7.5% economic growth. In this document, I did not find any deadlines nor indicated rates of economic growth,” a Republican Party representative stated.