Tigran Sargsyan: Provision of justice is a serious issue


Exclusive interview of Prime Minister of Armenia Tigran Sargsyan to Mediamax.

At the end of last week, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan discussed the election program of the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) with party activists and representatives of the society in Lori marz. We asked the Prime Minister to explain the purpose of these meetings.

- What is the reason for involving people in the formation of RPA election programs?

- The Republican Party of Armenia has taken the path of changes and we are forming new traditions. In particular, last year we summoned the RPA Conference with the participation of all regional structures. During that conference we presented a detailed report about the government’s work in all spheres.

Then, we held an RPA Economic Workshop, during which we introduced a new industrial policy. We invited not only RPA members to the workshop, but also NGOs and our opponents in order to transparently discuss our programs.

Continuing the process of democratization of the party, we would like the RPA election program to become the product of collective thinking. We intend to meet with party activists in 19 largest communities, invite representatives of NGOs and prominent people so that the party could listen also to their ideas and proposals. This is a chance to introduce the key topics of our election program and collect new ideas. As far as the RPA is a ruling party, one of our basic missions is to unite the society.

- Wouldn’t it be better to build the program on the basis of aspects of Armenian President’s 2008 and PRA’s 2007 election programs, which were not implemented or were carried out partially?

- Today’s program, the key aspects of which are almost ready, is certainly based on these programs. On the one hand, we are obliged to report about the works that have been done and give assessments to problems that have not been resolved yet. On the other one, life made its corrections, new challenges appeared and we have to refresh our approaches. RPA is a conservative party and we are the adherents of evolutionary development. Our programs are based first of all on the system of our values.

- I am sure your opponents will say the RPA has a crisis of ideas and this is why it turns to people.

- Every government and power is always subject to criticism, and we should treat it calmly. We have always been attentive towards objective and grounded criticism which allows discovering our weak sides, mistakes and existing problems. During these regional meetings we want to find out whether we have properly chosen our program priorities and fundamental directions.
- You will receive a lot of ideas in conditions of limited resources of the state. And if in Yerevan the start-up IT businesses may offer to set up a venture fund, which the government will back by, for example, $1 million, one of the rural communities will offer to increase the financing of the agriculture in the same amount. How are you going to make a choice?

- We have to focus on the most effective governance and find the model which will enable us to fully reveal the potential of the society. There is one key thesis in this regard: the government’s key obligation is to create opportunities for the public.

- There are a lot of publications and discussions about a struggle between several wings inside RPA. You are leading the so-called “intellectual wing”. You have recently said that there will be no businessmen in RPA list and now you are organizing a series of these regional meetings. Can we say that the positions of RPA’s “intellectual wing” are very strong today?

- It’s quite natural that every political party directs its best forces to the government. I think it’s also quite natural that in the party the head of the government is responsible for tasks which he deals with as a Prime Minister. So, this process is not conditioned by my personality only.

As for the absence of businessmen in our election list, this is the political stance of our party and the President, who spoke about it still several months ago. If we undertake legislative changes to separate the business from authorities, it’s quite natural that this strive should be reflected also in election approaches and in the list of our party.

- I think that during the meetings the people will speak not only about social problems but also about justice. In recent years you and the President have frequently stated that people are suppressed by manifestations of injustice they face around them. And although a lot has changed in last 4 years, there are cases when it seems that the fight for justice gives no results. For example, I am surprised by the fact that a reporter and a “street authority” are arrested and then released, and to change the restraint the Prosecutor’s Office uses the same reasons in both cases.

- Provision of justice in the country is a very serious issue and people’s demand towards authorities is quite justified. However, the people’s demand is not enough: most of our citizens are not ready to make efforts to ensure justice and this is one of the characteristic features of our society. Everybody requires that justice be imposed by the state; people want everything to be good but without their participation. Very often, people consider reporting about any incident as a denunciation. Besides, these people demand the government to impose justice. There is indeed a serious problem here.

- But don’t you think that people don’t report about crimes only because they are scared. They know that the criminal may be released one day and take revenge on them. And the state needs to act in this case by enabling its law enforcement system to ensure the safety of the person who reported the crime.

- The problem of lack of belief does exist today. And it means that we must unite the people around the values that are proclaimed in our program and change the situation together. We need reforms and we must implement them together.

Tigran Sargsyan was interviewed by Ara Tadevosyan. 

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