What Upshot Will the Political Tension in Armenia Have?
Following the President Sargsyan’s scandalous speech about Gagik Tsarukyan, head of the Prosperous Armenia Party and the latter’s tough response, the political tension in Armenia has dramatically intensified and such escalation, the political experts and human rights defenders believe, is conditioned by the strife for power.

In his speech at the session of the executive body of the Republican Party on February 12 President Serzh Sargsyan called Tsarukyan “evil,” “false political phenomenon” and “a man without trivial logic.”

Gagik Tsarukyan in his turn stated that he is ready to accept the challenge and announces “nationwide mobilization” to get Serzh Sargsyan’s impeachment.

The National Assembly has already launched the procedure to strip Tsarukyan of the MP mandate while “the guards of Tsarukyan are reportedly disarmed.”

Stepan Danielyan, political expert describes the issue as too simple: it is strife for the power.

“It is a struggle to remain in power particularly through the proposed constitutional amendments. It’s the second year of Serzh Sargsyan’s administration and it is high time new formats were employed to remain in power,” noted Stepan Danielyan, head of the Cooperation for Democracy NGO.

The Media Center initiated panel discussion was attended by Stepan Danielyan, head of the Cooperation for Democracy NGO; Alexander Markarov, political analyst; Vardan Harutyunyan, head of the Rights and Freedom Center NGO; and Tigran Yegoryan, lawyer, member of the Europe in Law NGO.

With respect to the rumors that well-known Russia-based Armenian businessman Samvel Karapetyan visited Armenia to reconcile Tsarukyan and Sargsyan, Stepan Danielyan considers it possible that Moscow attempts to settle the conflict in this way. “If I’m not mistaken, Samvel Karapetyan is tightly affiliated with the Russian political and business elite. Probably, Russia tries to interfere with the internal political conflict and reconcile the sides,” the expert believes.

Alexander Markarov agrees that the main reason for the tense PAP-RPA relations is the struggle for power. “Whatever is going on in Armenia now and happened last week does not have extreme manifestation and we have had to see only a dialogue between different powers so far,” Markarov said and added confrontation is still possible but what matters now is whether the opposition and society are ready to lead the developments to the extreme. “If the process is limited to a dialogue with diverse levels of tension, I daresay, it took place within the political discourse,” the expert said.

On Feb. 17, a meeting took place between Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP) leader Gagik Tsarukyan through the mediation of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun who describe the meeting as “successful and ice is melting.”

The President’s speech may have serious legal consequences, human rights defenders believe. “The President’s speech undisguised the Armenian authorities and shows that if a person poses himself as opposition, he will be persecuted unlawfully. Evidently, it is impossible to speak about laws, we may speak only about possibilities and power,” said Vardan Harutyunyan.

Conditioned by the hypercentralization of the power, Tigran Yegoryan believes, the main state institutions are subject to President Serzh Sargsyan. “The political poles are to shift since according to the amended Constitution, Serzh Sargsyan will not be the President. The given legal restriction will result in political shifts which are insanely threatening to Serzh Sargsyan. Thus, the authorities have one chief issue now – constitutional amendments,” he concluded.

The experts noted there may be a decrease of tensions within the inner political field and subsequent consent but it will be determined by the proposals and compliance of the ventures of the sides.

Arshaluys Mghdesyan, Editor-Coordinator

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