23 May 06

Member of Parliament Karen Karapetyan, the leader of the People's
Deputy Group, told news reporters May 23 that they had proposed to
nominate him speaker of the National Assembly. But Karen Karapetyan
declined this offer.

"I received certain proposals to occupy higher positions, but I
think occupying a position is not a goal, not a means for fulfilling
goals. Now I do not find it expedient to take up a post. As to the
group, it was also offered posts in the government and the National
Assembly. But the group finds that it must not be an end in itself.

If at the moment we took this chance and used these opportunities
not in favor of our people, at the moment, over this short period of
time, this work would not be effective, therefore we think it cannot
be our goal, it is merely a means," states Karen Karapetyan.

However, according to him, it does not mean "we believe in ultra

The leader of the People's Deputy says they have their logic, which has
its goal - political balance. "The key problem is political balance in
the country. If we fail to maintain political balance in the country,
forces from outside may impose their interests on many political forces
and attempt at fulfilling their interests in our country and try to
control our political sphere," says Karen Karapetyan. According to
him, the People's Deputy acted similarly over the past years, and it
is not going to change the logic of its activities.

"Since the correlation of forces in the National Assembly, the
opposition-government balance has changed, our main goal is also
political balance, in other words, we will be giving greater support
to the government to maintain political balance together," says Karen
Karapetyan. He assures that the People's Deputy was and will remain
in the constructive field.

"Hence, the prime problem: there is a single word at the top of the
pyramid - political balance. Any activity will be made to correspond
to this," says Karen Karapetyan. He declined to say what posts the
People's Deputy Group had been offered in the executive and the
legislative. Karen Karapetyan also declined to say if the government
offered stipulations along with offices. "I think our behavior
has always been adequate, and over this period our activities were
dignified. I think we did right. Besides, what does it mean "to offer
stipulations"? They proposed, they said there were such proposals,
we said we would think on these proposals, then we said no," says the
leader of the People's Deputy Group. He says the reason for declining
the proposal of the government was the lack of time rather than the
unsatisfactory levers offered to us.

Nonetheless, Karen Karapetyan gave an ambiguous reply with regard to
stopping the talks for entering the coalition. "I will say only one
thing: I think the group behaved in a highly dignified manner. In
fact, it means that there is no necessity to negotiate. We will be
working together, our priority is the political balance, we will be
working with them in this framework," said Karen Karapetyan.