Vahagn Khachaturyan assumed office as the President of the Republic of Armenia at the special sitting of the RA National Assembly
At the special sitting of the RA National Assembly held in the Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concert Complex today, the newly elected President Vahagn Khachaturyan assumed office as the President of the Republic of Armenia, making the following oath to the people:
“Assuming the office of the President of the Republic of Armenia, I hereby swear to remain faithful to the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, to be impartial in the exercise of my powers, to be guided only by state-wide and nation-wide interests, and to invest all of my efforts for strengthening national unity.”
After the Patriarchal Blessing and Prayer of His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and the Catholicos of All Armenians, President Vahagn Khachaturyan delivered a speech.
“Honourable Prime Minister,
Honourable President of the Republic of Artsakh,
Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly,
Distinguished Members of the National Assembly,
Distinguished Members of the Government,
Dear Guests, Dear Compatriots,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First, I once again wish to express my gratitude to the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia for the trust placed in me.
Today, I am assuming office as the President of the Republic at a crucial time for the future of Armenia, when we are in a difficult period of regional and international challenges. We witness rapidly changing geopolitical developments, as a result of which the existing world security systems are transforming. Today, more than ever, we need wisdom, confidence, stability, and unity.
Today's world is changing very fast, where the competition for different resources is becoming more drastic. In this situation, it is so important what state we are going to build. Eventually, having a state means to preserve and develop our unique kind and gaining new opportunities to interact with other nations. All this will happen if we impart a new meaning to our present, and at all costs reorganize ourselves to create a new dignified future, where a strong state must be a reliable and just partner in our public life.
State institutions are of particular importance in any society, and especially for those who are in a transition stage. The appropriateness of institutions conditions the efficiency of public administration, cooperation of different branches of government, and why not, the longevity of state. The failed or deficiently functioning state institutions can have a devastating effect on the fates of states. It is more dangerous when they operate beyond the Constitution and the laws, devaluing and demoralizing the whole system of values, predetermined by the Constitution or other legal acts. As a result, the state becomes a great punishing machine that serves the interests of a group of people, which ultimately hinders development, any new ideas, and progress.
Unfortunately, not so long ago, we have witnessed or participated in all this as well.
Of great significance for the development of any country is the choice of governance. However, a system of state governing does not itself give birth to democracy or dictatorship. Each of them, intertwined with other objective or subjective factors of social life, can be the basis for true democracy in one case and the establishment of dictatorship in another. Of course, the current political system, the civil society with its ideology, impartiality and intense activity play a great role here.
The Constitution declared the Republic of Armenia a sovereign, democratic, social, and legal state. The norms enshrined in the Constitution provide for certain counterbalancing mechanisms, designed to ensure the smooth functioning of the three branches of government: the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary, regardless of the situation. Of course, the institution of the President, who according to the Constitution, is the head of State, and pursues the observance of the Constitution, has a special place in this system.
Applying to the events of different periods in the history of our people basically does not allow us to get the answers to many questions, we are interested in. In many instances, it is impossible in many instances as we either do not have or did not have the courage to assess the reality. It is important to get rid of illusions to assess the reality, as none of the political systems ca be ideal. Both presidential and parliamentary systems in all states, with their advantages, have certain shortcomings and omissions. If a country does not consistently implement and strengthen democratic processes, does not respect the human rights, and defend the interests of all groups of people, then democracy cannot develop and expand.
The democracy of one country may be different from that of another, but it must be typical of the democratic political system of a country:
• Separation of powers,
• Supremacy of law,
• Freedom of mass media,
• Political competition,
• Possibility of changing the government,
• Free elections.
In this regard, the Constitution of our country provides for unchangeable articles, which are called to guarantee the existence of the Republic of Armenia. These are Articles 1, 2, 3 and 203 of the RA Constitution.
There is no doubt about the truth of the idea that, in the modern world, each country must go its way. This characterizes what kind of a society has formed, and whether it can overcome the difficulties aroused in the chaos of time, incidents, and events on the way of its development.
After gaining independence, we also chose our own path of development. The past thirty and more years have been a period of great trials for our people and compatriots. Unfortunately, in that period of state formation, there were losses, irreparable losses. I am talking especially about the human losses, the citizens of the Republic of Armenia, who died defending our homeland, eternal glory and honour to all.
Of course, this is a great pain for all of us, but on the other hand, it is a compulsory obligation of the authorities to change the situation, unite the citizens of the Republic of Armenia, All Armenians and restore the country's economic strength, reinforce the security system, make the occurring processes manageable, create and develop a new modern, future-oriented economic system, with its infrastructures, which will pave the way for a new quality economy with a leap in growth potential.
The Velvet Revolution of 2018 was the result of our hope and expectations of achieving new goals that many of us, the majority of our society, had. The pre-revolutionary period had already managed to deprive people of hope, disappoint them, and form an atmosphere of pessimism.
We all needed radical changes, and they became a reality in April 2018. This was another new trial for the state and its citizens. The road to achieving the final goals would be difficult, and time-consuming. Hope and faith, love and patience must be the guarantee of the success of the new revolution.
And today, in these times of geopolitical transformations, this post-war period with the coronavirus uncertainties, persisting economic and social difficulties, deep and unhealed wounds of war, possibilities of new clashes and wars, and our Artsakh compatriots deprived of a guarantee to live on their land, all of us, and our state, the Republic of Armenia, more than ever need patience, unity, hope, faith, love for our Motherland and each other, so that we can work together and build a new Armenia.
What do we need on the way to change the situation, and to implement the planned perspective programs?
• Courage and readiness to deal with reality, ability to assess real situations,
• Expansion of regional cooperation, elimination of obstacles,
• Commitment and responsibility to confront the expected challenges,
• Implementation of future-oriented programs, which by their nature and significance should be not only state but also national.
I am convinced that we all have our ideas about the country, the state, all Armenians, and the future of Artsakh. It is important what Armenia we will have in the future, and what will the future Armenia be impressive with? The future of Armenia will depend on human capabilities, knowledge and appropriate environment conducive to the application of human thought and knowledge in high-tech economy.
Let me refer to state institutions again.
As the newly elected President, I am aware of the responsibility I undertake, the challenges that exist and could appear in the exercise of the powers of the President of the Republic provided by the Constitution. However, there is a simple truth, without other state institutions, such as the National Assembly, the Government, the Judiciary, and close cooperation aimed at preserving the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, there can be no success.
The imperative of nationwide and statewide interests demands to exert every effort for the welfare of our people, and the progress of the homeland. This, in its turn, first of all means work with public and wide ranges of all-national circles; without them, it is not possible to assess the reality, the real state of the country, correct the shortcomings, and find new opportunities for development.
I am convinced that many of the problems that exist today can be solved when all of us realize that:
• Together, we can prosper only in the conditions of general optimism and hope,
• Unity is the path of strength, honour, and common good,
• We owe our future to the power of our eternal values,
• Only freedom and free man can be the guarantor of our longevity and development,
• And finally, there are people around us, in our reality, Dreamers, who are creating a better tomorrow today.
This should become the ideology and philosophy of our coming years. We have no alternative but to move forward and overcome these difficulties. Our unity and solidarity can be a guarantee of this. It is especially important to touch upon the future prospects and future plans. Small nations need to be more innovative and more creative. All this can be achieved only through a competitive educational system opportunate to master the existing, and create the newest technologies. Education, knowledge, and culture have been the guarantee of our nation's longevity. To achieve all this, we need discussions and nationwide involvement of our compatriots living in and beyond Armenia, clear vision, ideas, active state institutions and a sustainable state where man and citizen will be in the centre, and the state will create conditions in the country where all citizens will be free, will have an equal opportunity to discover and develop their talents. The President of the Republic of Armenia must also do his best to ensure all this and the smooth work of state institutions for the benefit of our state.
In the end, just a quote from the RA Constitution, Article 123 of which reads:
“In the course of exercising his or her powers, the President of the Republic shall be impartial and shall be guided exclusively by state-wide and nation-wide interests.”
I am convinced that this fully represents the mission of the President of the Republic of Armenia, which will become the guideline of my activities.