Friday, 14 March 2008

He says – you decide


Serj Sargsyan [prime minister ('president elect')]: “I will never resign from the post of the president of Armenia”.

Serj Sargsyan: Incumbent president Robert Kocharyan will not take up a post of prime minister. "Robert Kocharyan and I are so honest that if such a scenario had been possible, we would have told this before the election the way Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev did", Sargsyan said.

Serj Sargsyan refutes rumors about his love for gambling - "No, I am not a gambler." [answering question on rumours of his love for gambling in casino]

Serj Sargsyan promises to “root out crime in Armenia”. [yeah, sure (1)]

Serj Sargsyan promises to fight bribery and corruption in judiciary system. "I promise everybody that we will support all people wishing to expose bribe-takers," Sargsyan said. [yeah, sure (2)]

Serj Sargsyan refutes rumours that he has a share in all big businesses in Armenia. [no comment]

Serj Sargsyan does not think that his entourage casts a shadow on him.

Serj Sargsyan does not think that the staffing policy of the past years was shameful. In any case, Sargsyan promises not to appoint those who have bad reputation among the people. [to start with..?]

Serj Sargsyan - Coalition government: ARF Dashnaktsutyun will take part in governmental coalition. [Rumours are widespread in Yerevan that Vazgen Manukyan is currently making a deal with the authorities.] Sargsyan added that he also “met Leader of the National-Democratic Union Vazgen Manukyan” without elaborating further.

Serj Sargsyan: We intend to amend legislation and establish certain guarantees for parliamentary minority. According to him, the platform of the parliament is quite a good place for solving such problems as the fight against corruption and establishment of justice. [wow!]

Serj Sargsyan: Lack of trust in pro-government media. During a TV interview today he said that he is concerned that people trust rumours and the information from the Internet more than the information broadcast on TV by channels like H1 and H2. [I wonder why? or do I?]

Serj Sargsyan: My opinion does not always coincide with the opinion of President Kocharyan. [‘revelation’]

Serj Sargsyan thinks that U.S. President George Bush has not congratulated him because of post-election situation in Armenia and not election itself. [I always thought that ‘post- election’ cannot be without ‘election’]

Serj Sargsyan: Opposition electorate can take active part in coming local authorities elections [What a generous man!]

Serj Sargsyan: We have never used army for political purposes. [March 1]

Serj Sargsyan: I don't know exactly whose shops were robbed and destroyed during Mar 1 events. [when asked if the shops belonged to oligarchs related to the authorities]

Serj Sargsyan: There was no order to disperse the oppositionists rallying at Liberty Square. [“Mistakes”?]

Serj Sargsyan regrets that General Manvel Grigoryan tried to go into politics and to disobey supreme commander [effectively confirming claims denied by Defence Minister that General Manvel supports Levon Ter-Petrosyan opposition movement]. “I regret that for some reasons General Manvel Grigoryan tried to go into the politics and to disobey the supreme commander.” "General Manvel Grigoryan is my comrade-in-arms. Moreover, his wife. Nazik, was fighting along with us. I have never tried to involve Grigoryan into the politics. I regret that for some reasons he tried to do it himself and disobeyed the supreme commander. I think it is necessary to examine the circumstances of this case and solve this problem," Sargsyan said.

Serj Sargsyan: Communication with people via internet is the best format in the present situation. “Today, the internet is a strong mechanism for shaping the public opinion. That's why I have chosen this format of communication.” “This format allows people to ask all kinds of questions and to remain unknown. This is the best format in the present situation.” [and who censored Internet?]

*using ArmInfo reports


reading_is_dangerous said...

This could be fun, if people didn't die less than two weeks ago.

What's interesting is this: Here the answers are written for posterity. A "no comment" is worth as much as any other answer too.

I wish somebody asked him what happened on March 26, when his "supporters" all left the "pro Serjh meeting" and joined with the opposition supporters. Where are the new president's supporters?

The city is very quiet for now. What will happen after the 21st?

Anonymous said...

As a regular reader of this blog and as someone who appreciates your work very much (though does not share your political views and positions):
I think your comments in brackets are unnecessary and even insulting; not toward “the authorities” but your readers like me. They remind me of Hyelur’s and other pro-governmental media’s pre-electoral coverage of LTP’s campaign. They always felt obliged to make a cynical comment, an “interpretation”, after an LTP passage.
Why aren’t you, the both sides of this “democracy contest”, able to just transmit information to people and let them make their opinion? In order words, why do you assume that people are so immature that they need the information be systematically accompanied by some “interpretations” or comments?
Respect us, please!
Thank you, and keep up the good job.

artmika said...

I am sorry, but I do not agree with you. My blog is not a news agency, it's a place where along with providing an info, I express my own views. Blog is a kind of personal diary and by definition is subjective, as it reflects the author's views. I provided what prime minister says, and you are free to make your own judgement in comments or elsewhere. But I am free and will provide my commentary too, whenever I feel necessary.

Thanks for reading my blog.

Anonymous said...

Why is it surprising? The opposition media in general has started cynical interpretations as a way of Armenia-media life. While a blog is indeed personal and subjective, it also begs the following question:

Who will ever (if they did before) take A1+ or Pashinyan seriously as they have (also?) discredited themselves in terms of honest journalism.

By the way in no way am I endorsing media censorship, and I think the handling of the situation in the state of emergency is a sign of weakness of the authorities.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, maybe the title “He says – you decide” misled me. I got the impression that I was being directly addressed. It is YOUR blog but you had invited me to decide on something. Then when I read the article, I felt that between “he” and “me” there was a mediator other than that little line there. If you had selected “He says – I or Artmika thinks/comments/criticizes”, part of the problem would have been resolved.
Of course, I never suggested that you should not be free. I don’t understand why you have raised this issue. My concern was the way opponents and “the others” are usually dealt with in the Armenian media. Caricaturizing, cynicism, insults, etc. stifle democratic debate and political criticism. And I think all of us should feel – ethically and politically – responsible for that, and this includes you who are running a political blog (I know it is not a news agency but it is not a personal diary either).

Anonymous said...

According to "official" news 2008/03/13/questions/
the public submitted 3000 questions to Mr. Sargsyan. Yet his website has 642 questions listed. Seems like there are 2400 missing questions?

artmika said...

It may be that there are questions which submitted via other means -phones, other websites etc, but am not sure.
One request - could all “Anonymous” comment makers put some kind of nickname so that it would be easy to refer to.

To previous "Anonymous":

Your initial impression was right. “You decide” directed to everyone, myself including. However, as the author of this blog, I normally provide commentary within the main post (with further reflections in comments, if appropriate or necessary), and readers are welcome to put their thoughts in comments. You may agree or disagree with my comments, that’s your right.

However, you are talking about “the others”/opponents. Fair enough, there are instances of intolerance, insults from pro-opposition side. But have a look at the government propaganda via the most acceptable media means - TV. You will have plenty of examples of that there too, and it is much more dangerous, because it is so widely accessible, and it is called “Public”. I do not justify extreme behaviour from opposition side, but depriving their right to air their point of view via Public TV channels, and providing one-sided information, government is radicalising our society even more. Even prime minister during that Q&A session accepted mistrust towards Public TV channels in Armenia.

I am always against insults, whether from pro-governmental or pro-opposition sources. Btw, insults are never accepted in this blog, but cynicism and caricatures are acceptable democratic methods. I wish they are less, I really do, but there is little left than cynicism to reflect current situation in Armenia. But we should try, for sure, to start proper debates alongside.

In fact, I do not consider my blog a “political blog” per se. It is my personal take on events or things which bother me, interest me etc. It just turned into “political” due to circumstances. I wish I am able to write more about other nicer things: films, arts... like I intended to. I hope I will be able to do so when media blackout lifts, but for real, and independent or pro-opposition views won’t need to rely on samizdats.

Bruce Tasker said...

SAS had an excellent opportunity to prove his real desire to fight corruption when the Government Accountability Project (GAP) Director of International programs came from Washington to Armenia in November 2007, to pursue our claim of multi-million dollar corruption in Armenia World Bank projects. But SAS could not even reply to our letter requesting a meeting, although as PM, he was of course obliged to. Moreover, he had announced to the Armenian press that he was ready to re-look at the problem.

As usual, the SAS promises turned out to be Lies, LIes, LIEs and more LIES.

And that it why an application is now being prepared for the U.S. Congress to investigate Armenian corruption - in Washington. What a Disgrace for Armenia - not that SAS and RSK would understand that.

Anonymous said...

I think the investigation is great. For all your repentance, maybe it's time the WB/IMF got out of Armenia for good.

Anonymous said...

to the othet anonymous guys
Why don't you leave this guy alone?
If you don't like his comments, you can go SAS blog and read everything there,or to any other state media.
The guy says that this is his personal blog, so doesn whatever he wants.
You better save your wrath for Hyelur and pro-government papers, which are obliged by the decree about the Artakarg drutyun to provide only "official information" and yet have all kinds of non-official, but anti-opposition comments, interviews, opinions, etc.

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank Artmika for taking the time to respond to my criticisms. I liked his second response much better. I am not totally convinced but I don’t wish to continue the discussion at this point.
I would like to clarify that the reason I criticized him, as I said in my first comment, was that I care about what he is doing. So I cannot “leave this guy alone” (this is so narrow-minded). I am a regular reader of his blog, I don’t share his political views but I have absolutely no “wrath” against him. I appreciate the time and energy he puts on running his blogs, and I have the impression that he is genuinely concerned about political liberties and civil rights in Armenia.
To suggest SAS blog as an alternative is totally irrelevant.

Ani said...

Just in case you actually thought your actual questions might be answered:
Dear reader,
We have received an unprecedented number of questions and comments for my internet interview. I have answered to a big part of them during my TV interview. All your questions have been processed and now I’m preparing BIG AND GENERAL answers to them, which you will read continuously on the pages of my blog within the following days.

Best regards,
Serzh Sargsyan

artmika said...

:) Why I am not surprised?!