‘Democracy is irreversible in our country’ – Pashinyan meets Armenian community representatives in Kazakhstan
YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 9, ARMENPRESS. Acting Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan met with the Armenian community representatives of Kazakhstan in Astana, his Office told Armenpress.
The meeting was attended by Armenians living in Astana and different regions, as well as the representatives of the Armenian community of Uzbekistan.
The acting PM welcomed the meeting participants and stated in his remarks: “Dear compatriots, first of all I want to tell you what I thought when I entered here and saw you. I travel a lot after being elected as PM, and any country I visit I have such kinds of meetings with our compatriots, and when we meet such familiar faces, we think the following: we are really a great people with our potential, but, unfortunately, are not fully using it till this moment. The revolution took place not only in Armenia, but also among Armenians, in the national consciousness, the most important outcome of which must be the use of the national potential so that we can jointly strengthen our homeland which should be the number one guarantor for the existence of Armenians”.
Nikol Pashinyan said he recently was introduced on a social poll, which revealed that “I am an Armenian” expression had different perceptions in different times. “In the 21st century “I am an Armenian” expression first of all identifies itself with Armenia’s independent statehood. Our major task is to engage our potential in Armenia’s further development. Our main shortcoming was that we haven’t formed common goals, and different parts of our nation have acted not so jointly. We need to form a common national goal and concentrate all our forces for its implementation. I think the most important feature of the recent revolution is the following: we have acquired a new energy, new excitement in order to be able to make Armenia a country which is able to protect itself, develop and be attractive for investments and living”, the acting PM noted.
He also highly appreciated the fact that after the revolution preliminary immigration trends are being noticed in Armenia. “The balance of those who left and returned to Armenia from the period of May to October is plus 13.000. This indicator has been minus 9000 in the same period of the last year. I hope this 13.000 will soon become 130.000, 200.000, 1 million 300.000 and we will have a state of a new level. We want Armenia to be guided with the following slogan: happy individual, caring society, powerful state. I know that we will reach this goal by combining our efforts”, Pashinyan said.
Thereafter, he answered to the questions of the meeting participants which mainly related to the development opportunities of economy, education, science, healthcare and tourism sectors, tax administration and reforms in Armenia.
A group of Armenians expressed interest and readiness to run a business in the homeland in different directions, which was welcomed by the acting PM.
“New Armenia has new opportunities, and it depends on the desire of everyone whether he/she will use that opportunity or not. Let met talk about my example: when Armenia gained independence in 1991, it was announced that freedom of speech exists in the country. I had just graduated from the school that time and I was telling the following: if there is a freedom of speech, it will not exist if there are no people who will not take that declared opportunity. The same applies to New Armenia, when we say that there is a new opportunity for the business, freedom, it will not turn into reality if people do not use that opportunity, that freedom”, the acting PM said, adding that today there is no obstacle for conducting any activity and investing in Armenia and he welcomes the implementation of such initiatives. Pashinyan said Armenia will carry out consistent policy of work promotion.
Pashinyan informed that the government has set a task for itself to create a map of Armenians of the world in order to see what potential we have in the field. “This is hard, but important work in order to be able to unite the whole potential of our people”, Nikol Pashinyan added.
Commenting on the question regarding the current political situation in Armenia, Pashinyan said democracy in Armenia is irreversible.
“There cannot be a dictatorship in the Republic of Armenia, democracy is irreversible in our country. Media has never been as free as it is today in Armenia. The most important change that took place is the people’s perception about their role, the mutual attitude. Today the foreigners receive the greatest impression in our country from the people, they state that they have an impression that Armenia is one family. This is the most important change. We are a democratic country and cannot be otherwise. The people did the revolution against the authoritarianism, oligarchic system and will no longer allow the creation of such system. The creation of fake opposition has been the most destructing thing for our political system, which, I think, took place after 1998. We will not move on this path. There were no power ad opposition in Armenia having the mandate of the people for a long time, therefore, the people in Armenia were not believing anyone. We will not create an artificial opposition since the opposition must not create itself. The people will decide who is in power and who is the opposition during the upcoming parliamentary elections”, Nikol Pashinyan stated.
In response to the question of one of the meeting participants about the business problems faced in Armenia two years ago, the previous vicious phenomena and their solutions, the acting PM said: “We cannot move forward without facing the truth. This year in April we reached a situation when the people stood up and stated that this cannot continue. But how we can continue? We need to understand what was the reason that the primitive rules have been degraded in our country. This is one of our major conceptual problems. Whether all corruption cases should be disclosed or not? It’s a serious issue, and I think that each sum stolen from the people should be returned. Any truth about our country should be revealed. But this doesn’t mean that we should make vendettas. We need to have some conditions for reaching a national agreement. Those, who have something to return to the people, in case of the return, there may be some forgiveness for them, but if they do not return, we need to carry out justice for them. Our country has suffered damages both in the domestic and foreign political environment. No one should think that he/she can robe the people and go somewhere to enjoy what has been robbed. No such thing will happen”, Nikol Pashinyan said.
Edited and translated by Aneta Harutyunyan