ARMENIAN DAILY SAYS PRESIDENT SHOULD NOT BE INVOLVED IN ELECTIONEERING
by Aram Abrahamyan

Aravot
Jan 29 2008
Armenia

"There are no betrayers"

To tell the truth, I try not to listen to the election speeches of
[Armenian presidential] candidates in a selfish attempt to save my
nerves. My only consolation is that 20 days are left [till the end
of the presidential campaign] - politicians will say all bad things
about each other, and they will gradually calm down after this.

I don't like what is usually being said. For instance, I do not favour
threats of transforming oligarchs supporting an opponent into homeless
persons or throwing officials to jails. This smells of Bolshevism
- the humankind has passed through this numerous times and knows
that giving the "punishing sword" to any "winning force" does not
establish justice.

But the speeches of presidential candidates in this period can be
unbalanced and of extreme nature (although, this is of course not
desirable). The incumbent president should have completely different
image - he, regardless of anything, symbolizes the state and should
be above all of this. One cannot say this about [Armenian President]
Robert Kocharyan, unfortunately.

Last Saturday [26 January] in Tsaghkadzor [winter resort in Kotayk
Region] he spoke as an ordinary young man (if not to put it in a more
rude manner) who wants to directly insult his political opponents
using threats. What he says, in essence, is that the first Armenian
president [Levon Ter-Petrosyan] was always guided by interests of
another (consequently, a hostile) state [presumably Turkey]. This
is not only a nonsense characteristics of "boyish clarification of
relations", but also an insult - not for a given person but for the
state - including in Robert Kocharyan's address. It turns out that the
current president is the ally of such a person. So he is a betrayer
as well?

In reality, there are betrayers neither among the past nor among
the present leaders or the nine [presidential] candidates, or in
general in the political elite. There were and there will be people
who make mistakes, including those who say words without thinking of
consequences during the election turmoil.