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Parliamentary system will make patronage rule in Armenia even stronger: ex-president

Former President of Armenia Robert Kocharyan has criticized the constitutional reforms initiated by acting president Serzh Sargsyan. In an interview to 2rd.am, he said that he saw no sense in the reforms and expressed belief that Armenia’s existing problems have nothing to do with the Constitution or the form of government.

“One can successfully rule a country while being either president or prime minister. You can find both good and bad examples of presidential and parliamentary regimes in the world. For a parliamentary system to be efficient, one needs a strong, democratic and competitive party system. Do we have such in Armenia? No. I think it is naïve to think that if we adopt a parliamentary system, your party environment will become more democratic and competitive. On the contrary, it will make patronage rule in Armenia even stronger,” Kocharyan said.

He refuted the rumors that he was privy to the last events regarding Prosperous Armenia Party. “I am on good terms with Gagik Tsarukyan but I had no secret political agreements with him. They had their own political team. Obviously, I could not cooperate with the parliamentary opposition. In fact, there would be no such opposition if Prosperous Armenia served my interests,” Kocharyan said.

According to the ex-president, the collapse of Prosperous Armenia has made life easier for the ruling regime but it has not removed the existing problems. “Our currency reserves are shrinking, our debts are growing. Our last measure to place 7.5% bonds has shown that we are on the verge of bankruptcy. And the government is taking no effective steps to change anything in the economy,” Kocharyan said.

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