Caucasus Reality 17 may — 16:05

Levon Ter-Petrosyan: 'Situation in Armenia resembles Azerbaijan in early 1990s'

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The first President of Armenia, Levon Ter-Petrosyan, believes that the situation in the country threatens its statehood. He called on the people of Armenia to stop protest actions that interfere with the work of the government of Nikol Pashinyan.

An extensive article of the first president of Armenia and the leader of the nation was published yesterday in the Armenian media.

'The most important test stage for any revolution is the period immediately following the victory of the revolution. It is at this time that the enthusiastic activists from the ranks of the united movement begin to show initiative and try to solve numerous local problems accumulated over the years by the same revolutionary methods. This is what we are seeing today. Almost throughout the whole territory of the republic we see protest actions, though absolutely fair, but unregulated from the revolutionary centre: cement and gold mining plants in Ararat, copper-molybdenum factory in Agarak, employees of Nairit plant, milk producers, taxi drivers, car importers, supporters of Sasna Tsrer, universities, schools, even kindergartens are involved in protest actions. Citizens are dissatisfied with municipality in Yereva. In Sevan, they protest against privatisation of land by the Armenian Apostholic Church. Employees of the military commissariats are unhappy, etc,' writes Ter-Petrosyan.

Ex-president of Armenia believes that all these actions, the demands put forward in them, with a few exceptions, are fair.

'These issues should have been resolved long ago. And if this discontent has not yet manifested itself frankly, it is only because of severe pressure from the regime, violence by law enforcement agencies, terror on the part of criminal elements, for fear of losing business and work. Today, these fears no longer exist, and people are trying to solve their problems by methods of a united, disciplined Pashinyan movement following the instructions of its leader. However, one important circumstance is not taken into account: today Pashinyan is the Prime Minister of Armenia, the head of the state, whose most important function is to ensure the normal functioning of state bodies,' the author of the article notes.

According to Levon Ter-Petrosyan, today the seizure of buildings and the blocking of streets are directed precisely against Pashinyan.

'It is not ruled out that, apart from the spontaneous and sincere protesters' actions, some protest actions are being directed by supporters of the former regime, which, although retreated, did not capitulate. It's clear that in a few days the Republicans will approve the government's program, placing all responsibility for running the country on Pashinyan, avoiding early elections unprofitable for them at the moment. After that, they, preserving the unity of their ranks by such methods and failing the legislative initiatives of the government, by open sabotage will try to lower the authority of the new government and create a state of uncontrollability and chaos in the country. The measure of consistency of any state is its manageability, the uninterrupted operation of the state machine. If the state management is not ensured, no country, even friendly, will take seriously the authorities of our country,' he said.

The ex-president emphasises that an exceptional situation has arisen in Armenia, when a state machine can break down, exposing the country to complete uncontrollability.

'This is the most dangerous situation for any country. Even the dictatorship is not as dangerous as the uncontrollability of the country, since dictatorship is a temporary phenomenon, it passes - sooner or later, however, the ungovernability of the country can ruin it. I do not want to give many examples, it's enough to recall the situation in Georgia and Azerbaijan in the early 1990s. Today, the super-task for both the government and the political forces and conscious sectors of society is the imperative of not allowing the country to go down into turmoil, and the preservation of the state's controllability. This requirement applies to the supporters of the regime, in whom, I hope, revanchism has not completely dulled the sense of the public good.

In such a situation, the Pan-Armenian National Movement appeared at the time of coming to power, immediately after the leadership in the parliament and in the government passed to ANM, the seizure of the building of the Yerevean city council (now - the building of the Constitutional Court) led to a similar situation.

We succeeded in the shortest possible time, mainly by persuasion and appeals, sometimes by force of law, to ensure full controllability of the country. Thanks to this, we managed to avoid the catastrophic developments that fell to Georgia and Azerbaijan, and to receive the approval and full support of the international community. For the sake of justice, it should be noted that later on Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan managed not only not to undermine the country's controllability, but, following other completely unacceptable values, by the use of antidemocratic and illegal methods, they managed to lead the country to excessive controllability, which became the main cause of today's revolution,' says the article.

Levon Ter-Petrosyan noted that the current national movement achieved a great victory, having overthrown the 20-year-old dictatorship in Armenia.

'Only by this Pashinyan took a worthy place in the Armenian history. For the people it will be the greatest disappointment if he fails to honourably come out of this dangerous situation, to occupy an even more honourable place in history,' concluded the former president.

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