YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–General-Major Armen Darbinian was unanimously elected First Secretary of the Communist Party of Armenia at a plenary session of the CPA Central Committee on January 15. Monday–Darbinian gave his first news conference in his new position.
Darbinian said that CPA will stay on positions of a radical opposition–but–he said–on some issues it is ready to cooperate–in particular–with People’s Party of Armenia and the "Unity" bloc. As an example of such cooperation Darbinian noted the strengthening of ties with Russia–preparation of changes to the Constitution and limitation of president’s powers. The CPA leader noted that the party is speaking for holding new presidential elections in Armenia–but "only through a constitutional process–after the adoption of a new Constitution." He also said that members of the CPA parliamentary faction Frunze Kharatian have already prepared a draft of constitutional changes–which on behalf of the CPA will be submitted to the National Assembly for consideration. Darbinian said that "the Communist Party of Armenia is a pro-Russia oriented party and a supporter of Armenia’s entering the Russian-Belarus union state."
As to the forthcoming March 26 presidential elections in Russia–Darbinian said that prime minister of Russia Vladimir Putin does not have any clear-cut program of leading Russia out of the crisis and that presidential elections in Russia will be held in an extremely tense atmosphere. He did not rule out that the Communist Party of Armenia may launch a campaign to support Gennady Ziuganov–the leader of the Russian communists–in those regions of Russia–where Armenian communities are big.
Speaking of the course of investigation in connection with the October 27 events–Darbinian noted that "big crimes cannot be accidental," adding that the Communist Party of Armenia believes that the investigation team must do everything possible "to uncover forces–which were behind that crime."