Mr. Martirosyan, the society again stood up after the incident in Harsnakar Restaurant. What do you think this will lead to?
Our society is, nevertheless, a step ahead of the political forces. The society defended Vazgen Manukyan after the election of 1996, in 1998 it would defend Karen Demirchyan if he had not refrained from tension, defended Stepan Demirchyan after the election of 2003, voted for Levon Ter-Petrosyan in 2008. The painful reaction to Vahe Avetyan’s murder is another proof that our society is active and rebellious.
I don’t dare say that this movement will lead to political change. However, one fundamental thing was done – the society defied the kind of the government, the kind the government breeds. They know only one way of using wealth and power (to say nothing about demonstrative and INTERESTED charity) – intimidate the society through cannibal dogs.
On the eve of the wedding of Nikolay 2 Prince Chernigov forgave the debts of all his debtors, another nobleman (I don’t remember the name) donated a library to a provincial town. Now look at their weddings. They want to astound one another. One day I saw an “elite” wedding pageant, I thought they had better leave Armenia together with the pageant. Let it sound unrealistic, but the quality of life of the authorities must not differ much from most of people. So, instead of defining an election deposit there must be a line of wealth beyond which people cannot be eligible… Vahe Avetyan Movement that defends the dignity of the society, if keeps growing, will eventually lead to political change.
Mr. Martirosyan, there was civil activity in 2007-2008, why did it fade away? What can be achieved now when this political force which drove the society has disappeared?
I was not in Armenia, I cannot compare. When one does not witness, comparison is not full. The society cannot be governed directly, governance is indirect, through political parties. These movements can underlie the formation of a new political force, if not a force, then a police, if not a pole, than a change of focus in the political field. In any case, the effect is positive but these movements do not have mechanisms for fundamental change, change of government.
Do you think the issue on the agenda of the society is the elimination of the criminal and oligarchic system or should the society raise different issues and try to achieve change through the government?
We know that this criminal oligarchic system is sponsored by the head of state or he is part of the system. It is wrong to go and ask him to do one thing or another but if the social uprising, disobedience leads to some results, it is the wealth of the country, the problems of future will be reduced. In general, all the means of expressing disobedience are unacceptable for me besides the ones which can humiliate the dignity of the society.
Recently the French ambassador to Armenia Henri Renaud thinks the “Armenian spring” has already come. Do you agree?
Of course, I do but the “Armenian spring” was suspended last year. We must first assess the situation in Armenia. The revolution or “the Armenian spring” came in 1988. But revolutions have a disadvantage – they are followed by counterrevolutions. The reason is that on the one hand the society reaches a critical point beyond which is a revolution, on the other hand the society on the whole is not ready for change, at least rapidly and fundamentally. At that point dissatisfaction with the new order is born, information comes which is used by the counterrevolutionary forces to take revenge. In Armenia it was marked by Robert Kocharyan’s presidency. In other words, in our country we need to neutralize the counterrevolution. Differing thus from the Arab countries, we also need to take into account the lessons of the Arab spring. In some Arab countries the forces came to power who can push the society back, destroying the country’s unity or the framework of interreligious peaceful coexistence of communities.
The counterrevolution, the regress was rapid.
The riot against the murder in Harsnakar, the society’s demands not limited to Ruben Hairapetyan’s pledge to resign from parliament, show that the revanchists (and their supporting oligarchs and criminal elements) are undesirable people in Armenia.
Isn’t it the right time to hold responsible all the oligarchs rather than target one of them?
It’s always the right time but it is necessary to stay within the legal framework otherwise the general demands will be followed by general pledges and oaths. The murder of Vahe Avetyan is fresh, and it is important for the society to achieve justice. The cases relating to the other oligarchs, as well as the murder in Aragast Café should be brought up again and again but the demands must be achievable and realistic. Unfortunately, there are no other ways. The other way is lynching which will not end up in anything good because the people who are capable of lynching are capable of violence and later they will cause a lot of trouble.
There is an opinion that Serzh Sargsyan, unlike his predecessors, makes the public demands audible.
There is some difference compared with his predecessors, he is milder but this is the progress of pseudo-democracy in Armenia, not real democracy. In any case, this mildness is positive to me unless the society is deceived because part of it is keen on being deceived, on self-deception. Take the pseudo-opposition, for instance, launched by the government before the election. A greater part of people have been deceived for several times already.
ANC was not pseudo-opposition?
No, the ANC was not pseudo-opposition. I think that at some point the tactics of acting within the political conjuncture, substitution of the mass movement with political intrigues was chosen therefore it lost the role of absolute leader of the opposition.