YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Representative Vardan Petrossian of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Executive Council of Armenia expressed that Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s resignation did not come as a surprise.
"What has happened was not a coup–nor a velvet revolution–but a complex resolution of the internal political crisis in Armenia," said Petrossian.
According to him–"Ter-Petrosyan’s resignation was discussed after the well-publicized session of the security council–when Ter-Petrosyan–acknowledging all viewpoints–claimed that he is not willing to change his opinion." Then–according to Petrossian–only two options remained: either Levon Ter-Petrosyan resigns–or he pardons all those who do not share his views on the Karabakh settlement issue.
Asked why Ter-Petrosyan did not use his constitutional powers to dismiss his opponents–Petrossian answered that–"The president’s powers as stated in the Constitution are one thing–and the ability to realize those powers in practice is quite another thing. The second reason is that Levon Ter-Petrosyan had understood that one more forced solution to such a political crisis would make his position weaker and he would remain an unreal president–and I think–nobody wants to be an unreal president."
Petrossian did not find that Ter-Petrosyan’s resignation would be followed by a period of shock and crisis: "On the contrary–that crisis existed for one and a half years–and I am more inclined to think that now that crisis is being resolved." Ter-Petrosyan’s resignation–according to the ARF representative–was a result of the internal political crisis which came about after the presidential elections of 1996.
Petrossian said that Acting President Robert Kocharian’s pledge to hold free and fair presidential elections in 40 days allows for hope for an atmosphere of unity within the country. Petrossian felt that there will no longer be a tendency to set people against each other as "we observed throughout Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s time in office."