YEREVAN (Azg daily) – Yerevan Mayor Vano Siradeghian–at a press conference–Thursday–answered a variety of questions from representatives of the media outlets. Below are excerpts from the press conference as reported by Radio Liberty.
Questioned on the prime minister’s resignation–Siradeghian answered–"To be frank–it is because of our (poor) Armenian fortune (Hayi bakht) that the prime minister has left."
Question: Was it the same after (former Prime Minister) Bagratian’s resignation?
V.S.: In the contrary. After Bagratian–any one of 10-20 candidates could have worked out well–and every one would have been able to change the situation for the better. However–it is hard to assign anyone after Armen (Sarkissian)–indeed–because he has set such a high standard that only a few people can follow him and his work and ensure that at least some of what said will be implemented.
Q: For you–who is an acceptable candidate for prime minister? Are you aware your name is also being mentioned?
V.S.: Of course–I know. Some people say–there are 28 candidates. This means–however indicates– that there are no candidates. If we speak about only one or two candidate–then we really do have some specific choices–hut I don’t think the president has ever faced such a difficult problem when appointing anyone. The Constitution does not allow him to wait for long. One thing is clear–though–and that is that the President is not able to share prime minister’s position. (I say) this only (as an expression of) goodwill. One of the positions will inevitably suffer. Maybe he would like to be the Prime Minister and has sufficient will and force–but then the President’s work will suffer. The two positions must be exclusive. We do not have outside contacts as Armen Sarkissian did.
Q: Would you agree to become the Prime Minister?
V.S.: If I see that there is no other way for the government and the situation to get resolved–of course–I will agree–despite the fact that the position of Mayor suits me well and I know the job well. The other (prime minister’s) job is somewhat more complex. But if necessary–of course I will agree.
Q: What is the position of the Mayor regarding the distribution of the known videotape?
V.S.: It doesn’t matter who distributed it–the fact itself (the distribution) is important. The worst thing is that a portion of the population has watched it and they are telling other about it. It would have been better if everyone saw the tape. (When people see the tape) the first reaction is disappointment; everyone expects to see naked women or something similar–and they are disappointed at the absence of such things. I would be disappointed too–if I watched it.
Q: Vazgen Sargsian said that he is ready to repeat everything he said on the videotape. What about you?
V.S.: Me too–except for one sentence. (Siradeghian later admitted he was referring to the obscene and profane statement directed at President Bill Clinton’s late mother.)
Siradeghian also stated on that tape that he is able to prove there was a plot against Levon Ter-Petrosyan. Asked whether he can still present such proof–after having left the position of Interior Minister?
V.S.: I think I took a very important action when leaving Interior Minister’s position. I burned all pertinent data which proved my statemen’s–(more that 90 percent were with Siradeghian at the time).to secure my future life. These materials do not exist anymore–which means it’ll be difficult to prove. I guess–there is no need to do this.