Statements and messages of the President of RA
Statement by the RA President, the RPA President Serzh Sargsyan at the session of the RPA Council
We are starting a new and an active political period, and as it is accepted in politics, we are starting a new political season. The role of republicans in the parliament, the government, local self-government bodies and in the political and public life of our country in general is decisive. Thus, after the quieter and relatively passive summer months we should resume our active working environment as soon as possible and give a new impulse to the implementation of our objectives.
As always, the activities of our parliamentary faction are going to be in the focus of both the whole society and our attention. I know that our faction and the parliament in general worked hard enough during the summer months: various bills were drafted, different activities aimed at promoting international cooperation were carried out; especially a huge amount of work was done in terms of giving and receiving direct feedback from partisan local bodies. I am happy to note that you are actively engaged in working with Nagorno-Karabakh and its leadership. I have to say that I highly appreciate the activities of all deputies and naturally, first of all those of our deputies carried out at the end of July and at the beginning of August, when there were tensions across our borders and when many of you went to the first line to support our soldiers, and together we were able to ensure if you do not mind the successful finish of that period. However, I consider all this as a part of and in the context of the summer regime, and now we should work four times as much and as hard as before. First of all, I would like to urge our deputies and emphasize that from now on you should push aside all your personal or non-personal problems and issues. Your primary goal is to ensure the smooth operation of the parliament and to engage in legislative activities targeted at implementing our objectives. The chief task of a deputy is his legislative activity; all the rest, including your personal problems, I understand that we are all human beings, we all have problems and concerns, but today we are in a situation that I consider your legislative activities as the most vital. Looking at parliamentary activities through fingers or absenteeism is inadmissible. Such people resemble the soldiers who leave their trenches. We have a lot of issues to be addressed in our country and thousands of projects to be accomplished, and the parliament is both your battlefield and your trench, your fight is your legislative activity, your enemy is the worries of our people and the problems existing in our country. If a soldier leaves his trench, he does not worth a penny no matter what other groundbreaking work he does instead. And if a soldier is in a trench and does not fire at the right moment, that solder also does not worth a penny. The key task of a parliamentarian is to participate in activities, first of all in sessions and to vote such as to make our objectives a reality.
About the government: all of you can see that the government has adopted quite an active course of action. It is working openly and publicly and is responding to all urgent issues. Every day each member of our council and our faction should come to work keeping in mind that he must certainly help the government, that he must support the activities of the government within his power, foster implementation of a project and come up with a good initiative. Otherwise, we can’t achieve positive results. And as we have agreed, Mr. Prime Minister, in its turn the government must pay close attention to the proposals of our deputies and the council members. We must work together since there is no other way.
Our council confirmed the list of the deputies, then we won the majority of seats during the parliamentary elections, after which that majority chose a government and as you see, we are all intertwined. We have no other way, and I wish all of us success in that common work.
I would like to express my opinion on two issues and to draw your attention to them. The first one is your activity in multifarious international cooperation formats. Your engagement and active contacts are extremely important. The formal and practical part of those contacts is important, but I urge all of you to be active behind the scenes as well. We are obliged to talk about our problems every day and every hour. We should take every opportunity to deliver the truth and our position to our colleagues, our friends and to even those who think badly of us. The world is changing rapidly, our opponents are becoming more powerful and they are working more actively, and in such a situation we do not have the right to be passive. As you know, we are facing a country whose leader does everything and takes every opportunity, including lies and falsehoods. And they do not feel ashamed for anything. Every day they jail people or kill them and then say their society is developing. I am confident that both the Azeri secret intelligence service and the leadership are confident that those journalists can’t be agents of the Armenian secret intelligence service. Is not it obvious to all of us? However, they put such labels on people without feeling ashamed. Hence, they use the conflict as a tool to introduce their own order in their country. It is not our business, they are free to introduce any order they wish, but we are very interested in making their lies and falsehoods live shorter. In reality lies and falsehoods do not live long, but it will better they do not have any existence. All of you are confident what happened at the end of July and at the beginning of August. At my own request, the mass media made the names and pictures of the heroic boys who had fallen victims public. All of you know how many Azerbaijanis were killed, but those people announced not only to their country, but also to the whole world that they had taught the Armenians a good lesson. If they consider that as a good lesson we should certainly take it into account. The striking illustration of a lie and a falsehood is the following: very likely, most of you know that the Azeri President, apparently felt insulted by the fact that I had compared the results achieved by our pupils at the International Science Olympiads with their peers from our region, told such an evil lie that it is already a long time since Azerbaijanis have surpassed Armenians in chess. The whole world knows that we are the Chess Olympic triple champions, that we are world champions, while they have only become European champions, and if this is progress, we should consider the fairy tales about the power of Azerbaijan and the emigration problem of Armenia in the same manner. However, it is not enough to laugh at their words or to mock. We should be able to deliver our truth to many others, especially when now Azerbaijan is trying to change the format of the Nagorno-Karabakh negotiation process. Not to sin against justice, I have to say that they are somehow succeeding in that, but that somehow is a tiny success, and that success has not been achieved just today. I mean the statement made at the NATO Summit which has been implementing already for a long time. Certain things have changed during this period, but we do not care about those changes. Secondly, I mean the platform of the PACE. Can you remember that the last so called unfavorable formulation, the last unfavorable resolution was adopted in 2005? We should be able to spread our successes achieved in the format of the Minsk Group to all other platforms, and here, frankly speaking, we have made enough progress and have achieved enough successes. If you are interested I am ready to answer those questions during the second question of the agenda.
The second question to which I would like to draw your attention is the process of constitutional amendments. I have already touched upon the issue of constitutional amendments a few times. As you know, the specialized commission has triggered broad public discussions, and in July the commission members together with various specialists visited all the marzes of our country and introduced all the provisions stipulated in the draft of the concept paper on amendments. For the first time since our independence the process of constitutional amendments is grounded on openness and publicity when not a ready draft paper is brought up for discussion, but all the central ideas which should lay down the foundation for drafting the main text of constitutional amendments. Taking into consideration the results of the public discussions, the commission will soon finish working on the concept paper and will present it to me for approval until October 15. It is already clear that the starting point of the concept paper is the radical transformation of our political system which I believe, is of paramount importance to our country on its way to further strengthen the rule of law and democracy. Hence, we as a ruling party should first of all trigger broad internal discussions, after which we should get down to active work in order to push forward the process of constructional amendments. After the concept paper has been presented, we should launch broad political consultations both with the political forces represented in the parliament and the extra parliamentary forces in order to reach a mutual agreement on constitutional amendments.
We clearly understand that we should come to a broad agreement on the constitutional amendments since an effective constitution can only be the result of public consensus. We are ready to freely discuss any initiative aimed at strengthening the rule of law and democracy, safe protection of human rights, an effective system of governance and an independent and impartial judiciary. And all the so called arguments, though they can’t be considered as such, which are brought forward by the opponents of the constitutional amendments, are beyond my comprehension. If any one of you has heard any argument, I would like you to speak about it now. They say only one thing – the time has not yet come. But why, what is the reason? Moreover, can such formulations be considered arguments during a serious debate? It is not an argument. I would like them to bring forward arguments, and not to say that the time has not yet come, we live in different times, not like in the past; these are just ways and excuses to avoid discussions. I am confident that we will have a document in October, and of course, we will discuss it in the council then. It will be great if the cohort of lawyers of our council is actively engaged in discussing this document with our party members. I hope that today you will be active enough and will give me ideas about the issues I spoke about. Thank you.