Collection of Signatures by Armenian Opposition against Former President Kocharyan is Political Provocation, Experts

Politics Materials 16 July 2008 17:39 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 16 July/ Trend , corr V. Zhavoronkova, E. Tanriverdiyeva/ The collection of signatures by the Armenian opposition led by the first Armenian President Levon Ter Petrosyan aimed at bringing Armenian ex-president Robert Kocharyan before the Hague tribunal is rather political provocation than a real attempt to re-consider the results of the presidential elections held in February.  

"It is more a political move of the opposition, than persons seeking justice. Motivations are politically driven," Amanda Akçakoca, analyst on politics and member of the program of the European Policy Center said to Trend .

The Armenian opposition led by the first president of Armenia Levon Ter Petrosyan will collect signatures from 16 July on to bring an action in the Hague tribunal against the second president of Armenia Robert Kocharyan, said David Shahnazaryan, representative of Nation-wide Movement Center which supports the former president Levon ter Petrosyan.

According to expert, the reason compelling the opposition to collecting signatures is the recent interview of Robert Kocharyan which meant that it was Kocharyan who ordered the law enforcement agencies to act against the opposition during events that took place on 1 March.

The demonstration of the opposition against the results of the elections, led by the presidential candidate Levon Ter Petrosyan flared into disorders on 1 to 2 March and confrontation between demonstrators and police. According to the Prosecutor General, the confrontation injured 265, leaving 10 dead and 100 arrested.

"The collection of signatures by the opposition is rather PR which aims at demonstrating political position and discrediting its political opponents," Markov, director of the Russian Institute for Political Studies said to Trend by telephone on 16 July.

The experts are doubtful whether an action will be brought against Kocharyan in Hague tribunal.

"The crime he has committed is not big enough to bring him before the Hague. They have more important issues do deal with," Akçakoca, the European expert on South Caucasus said.

According to Markov, in fact, there are no any grounds to bring Kocharyan before the Hague. "There is no conception of abstract Hague tribunal. It investigates only military crimes," expert said.

According to Markov, there are several tribunals, for instance, for investigation of crimes in former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, etc. No one will establish Hague tribunal to investigate the incidents in Armenia that took place on 1 March, expert said.

According to Akçakoca, the Armenian opposition did not have any ground to raise the issue of unfair conduct of elections. Fraud was not widespread during the elections, apart from in some parts of Yerevan. Sarkissian would have probably won anyway, no matter in which round, expert said.

"But probably, if elections were conducted more fair, it would have gone to a second round in which Sarkissian would have won then," Akçakoca said.

It will not have a serious impact on politics in the country. The ruling party will remain in power, expert said.

The Hague tribunal was established by UN as a logical successor of Nuremberg tribunal to implement international justice over the military crimes at present. The crimes against humanity by the totalitarian regime of the communist dictator of Slobodan Milosevic in the former Yugoslavia gave a push to its establishment. 

"In Armenian politics, it is common to exaggerate while making statements and commitments. They are mostly watered down when it comes to implementing them in practice," Akçakoca added.