YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–National Democratic Union Chairperson Vazgen Manoukian stressed the urgency of Ter-Petrosyan’s resignation at a Tuesday press conference organized by the National Press Club. He said that removing Ter-Petrosyan from power would not solve all problems–nevertheless it needs to be demanded by the people. It is also necessary to establish a sense of national trust and accord–Manoukian commented.
Manoukian stressed that all political forces need to reach consensus on certain substantive issues such as independence; the question of Karabakh; democracy; economic–social and moral issues; and Diaspora-Armenia relations. Those political forces–Manoukian said–need to sign an agreement specifying their approach to the abovementioned issues.
Manoukian called on different organizations and forces to unite in demand of Ter-Petrosyan’s resignation. He reported that currently the NDU is holding discussions with different political parties and public organizations regarding the current situation of the state. According to Manoukian–political forces must reach national accord on many issues and then it will be possible to consider forming a new bloc.
Manoukian said that fair National Assembly elections must take place only after Ter-Petrosyan resigns and new presidential elections are held. At the same time–he emphasized–"I have never evaded responsibility. For me–the presidency is first of all a responsibility."
Manoukian noted that the Karabakh issue was used by Ter-Petrosyan and his circle to blackmail the people of Karabakh–convincing them that any step taken would further aggravate the problem. Manoukian stressed that it has become obvious that the main obstacle to the settlement of the conflict is Ter-Petrosyan himself. "The Karabakh problem will be never solved the way Levon Ter-Petrosyan proposes," said Manoukian.
According to the NDU chairperson–at present the discords between the two wings of power are extremely tense and even if Ter-Petrosyan’s position gets softer–consent will be temporary. Manoukian believes that the two wings will never reach an agreement on the Karabakh problem. Manoukian ruled out all possibility of interference from outside forces.
Manoukian applauded Defense Minister Vazgen Sargssian’s speech–calling it a brave step aimed at defending national interests and admitting to his own mistakes. Manoukian voiced regret–however–that the defense minister "awakened" so late–and recalled advising the Defense Minister to closely monitor Ter-Petrosyan prior to siding with him. Manoukian remembered telling Sargssian that Ter-Petrosyan would walk over corpses to remain leader.