Pre-Parliament’s Manifesto

Notwithstanding certain reservations, the below Manifesto is published intact. Of particular objection is the characterization of Armenia's pre-"independence" politico-social structure as "colonial". The description does not conform to the classical, Marxist or current definitions. Furthermore, such a postulate in the document would preclude the manifesto's promise of "a platform for all the ideological-political and civil forces and currents to work together".-Publisher

By Zhirayr Sefilyan, former Commander, "Shushi" special batallion; Pre-Parliament Secretariat member.

Translated from "Haygagan Jamanag" by Suzanne Simonyan, 1 September 2013

The popular movement, launched in Armenia in 1988, didn’t turn into a nationwide struggle for a sovereign state despite its national-liberation character. It remained only in Artsakh-Armenia reunion format. Armenia gained independence as a consequence of the collapse of the USSR, but didn't have any particular inclination toward sovereignty. The new political elite, which had emerged during the struggle for the liberation of Artsakh, was not ready to establish and govern a sovereign state. It was also subservient by its nature and didn’t have a developed program for the purpose of governing a sovereign state.

Notwithstanding certain reservations, the below Manifesto is published intact. Of particular objection is the characterization of Armenia's pre-"independence" politico-social structure as "colonial". The description does not conform to the classical, Marxist or current definitions. Furthermore, such a postulate in the document would preclude the manifesto's promise of "a platform for all the ideological-political and civil forces and currents to work together".-Publisher

By Zhirayr Sefilyan, former Commander, "Shushi" special batallion; Pre-Parliament Secretariat member.

Translated from "Haygagan Jamanag" by Suzanne Simonyan, 1 September 2013

The popular movement, launched in Armenia in 1988, didn’t turn into a nationwide struggle for a sovereign state despite its national-liberation character. It remained only in Artsakh-Armenia reunion format. Armenia gained independence as a consequence of the collapse of the USSR, but didn't have any particular inclination toward sovereignty. The new political elite, which had emerged during the struggle for the liberation of Artsakh, was not ready to establish and govern a sovereign state. It was also subservient by its nature and didn’t have a developed program for the purpose of governing a sovereign state.

For the above reasons, the newly-liberated republic from the Soviet colonialism submerged into the rule of a new type of colonial management system, at the expense of the Armenian people and state. Accordingly, strategic policies were dictated from outside while a domestic dictatorship determined other policy issues.

The new system also came under the influence of more than one external power center. Indeed, since its formation, the system has functioned for the benefit of these interests. It should be noted that this situation is quite conducive to liberation, because the struggle of various external forces weakens their cumulative impact.

This new colonial management has generated profound negative processes which, in turn, have caused crisis in the management system of the country. Neither the state nor the political system is established. There isn’t real political life here. The political party elites, being a part of the regime in the state management system, are intertwined through personal and clan interests in a criminal organization, which has grabbed the power from the people. Meanwhile, opposition political party elites have been busy imitating political activities willy-nilly supporting the regime’s reproduction and domination. Some of them even cooperate with the regime. Moreover, certain opposition parties have been formed and are maintained by the regime. If no measures are taken to prevent this growing crisis, we shall lose Armenia's statehood. This is a threat to the physical existence of the Armenian people residing in their homeland.

We should give credit to our people who have never ceased their struggle, even when the opposition was venal or incompetent. Being deprived of organizational opportunities and the mechanisms for everyday political struggle, the people periodically and instinctively mobilized within the state management system. At each presidential election–the only option for the people to change the regime leadership according to the rules of the system–they stated their decisive NO to the regime’s leader. But every wave of the revolt faced the system's mechanisms and was crushed brutally.

Several years ago, in such a seemingly intractable situation, a group of concerned individuals united and established the "Sardarapat" movement. The name of the movement was selected deliberately as our country and our people are now in a situation similar to that of the Battle of Sardarapat against the Turkish army in 1918.  In early 2012 Garegin Chugaszyan, "Sardarapat" initiative group member, concerned in the fate of the country and its citizens, urged people to mobilize and start fighting. About 30 intellectuals came together and discussed the methods and the mechanisms of the struggle; they started to develop a plan and the sequence of steps to be taken. As a result, a national-political initiative group, called Pre-Parliament ("Nakhakhorhrdaran" in Armenian), was born on Nov. 15, 2012. Soon a preliminary version of our homeland's liberation plan was developed. An unprecedented aspect of this process was that Pre-Parliament (PP) laid out the task to develop a program which would establish a new quality national state, as well as a road map to achieve that goal. Only then PP would set out for that goal's realization. Everything in the Armenian reality has always been done without any program, and has been subjected to the logic of events.

During the preliminary PP discussions, the portrait of the future Armenian state was outlined. It was decided that the future Armenian state shall be completely new. It shall have full sovereignty; be able to maintain and develop our national identity; guarantee the inalienable rights of Armenians, as well as the citizen's free and creative development.

As a primary condition for the establishment of such a state, the team identified a state management system capable of formulating and pursuing national goals, as well as of promoting and solving consequent problems. Being newly colonialized by a management system, Armenia can be liberated through an established and functioning new quality management system. Of course, it is essential here to reach for a substitute of the political generations, as the old political generation has participated in the colonization of Armenia and has grabbed the power of the Armenian people over many years. The old political generation does not want and neither can guarantee the establishment of a sovereign Armenia. Thus it does not have the right to be a decisive factor in the future political life of Armenia. To pursue and achieve these goals, the PP has decided to take the following basic steps.

1.To mobilize the Armenian intellectual and ideological potential, forming a unique intellectual front which shall become the political and intellectual elite core of Armenia in the future.
2. To develop the strategic plan of the new quality state’s design and development.
3. Through the people’s self-organization and organization to establish a nationwide, pan-Armenian network in Armenia (Artsakh included), as well as in Diaspora communities–including the intellectual front as a separate component–and turning it into a force majeure.
4. To form legislative, judicial and executive management bodies–the main one being the Constitutive Parliament which would function through alternative elections. After the Constitutive Parliament is formed, it shall develop and adopt the final drafting of the new quality state’s design and the development of new strategic plan. It shall simultaneously also perform the following steps:

A. Through contracts between the Constitutive Parliament and citizens in person-to-person communication to legitimize itself and other management bodies functioning in parallel;
B. To organize the peaceful removal of the regime through the impact and pressure of the force majeure and the capacities of the pan-Armenian network, including civil disobedience, and other means;
C. To declare the start of the transitional government phase, based on transitional democracy principles within the terms defined in the contract concluded with the citizens, and to set up system prerequisites and conditions necessary for the formation and development of the new quality state;
D. To organize democratic elections and to form management bodies at the end of the transitional government phase;

Armenians from overseas shall have the right to take part in the elections of the Constitutive Parliament and run in parliamentary elections. The only condition would be that the candidate be a permanent resident of Armenia as of the first day of convocation. This is an important, unprecedented and unique innovation to promote Pan-Armenianism. The future Armenian state shall represent and defend the interests of the whole Armenian nation and shall pursue Pan-Armenian goals. The Constitutive Parliament shall not only be the legislative body but also the governing body of the national liberation struggle. So it shall include the most capable and active Armenian intellectual and political circles.

The next feature of the program, adopted by the PP, is the peaceful removal of the regime. It is the original third road, and an alternative to the other two classic roads. The first is the dysfunctional mechanism of elections in Armenia. The second supposes taking power by force, which is perilous and can result in the loss of our statehood. The third option shall undoubtedly lead to victory, because it is based on the demonstration of the people’s sovereignty, and it shall not be implemented according to the game/rules of the system but by rules set forth by the people.

The Pre-Parliament–guarantor of victory of the national liberation struggle, and for the irreversible positive changes and the sustainable development in the new quality state to be followed after the victory– henceforth adopts and strives to establish and to inculcate the culture of collegial decision-making, as well as seeks the mechanisms preventing the demonization of the new elite of the future Armenian state. The Pre-parliament is the broadest platform in the Armenian reality. It provides a platform for all the ideological-political and civil forces and currents to work together. It also has a constant resource for renewal and replenishment, since a large segment of its membership does not have political ambitions and is ready to concede its rightful place to better trained and proactive people.

One of the main activity directions of the PP is linked to the most painful and urgent problems the republic faces. Not only does the PP discover spontaneous centers of resistance, supports and involves them in the national liberation struggle, but it also establishes new centers by raising new issues.

After the failed partnership with Raffi Hovhannisyan, aimed at turning the unprecedented popular revolt during the 2013 presidential elections, into a national liberation movement led by Hovannisian, as well as the peaceful removal of the regime through that movement, and the establishment of the new state's fundamentals, the PP has now raised the flag of the national liberation struggle on its own terms and invites all concerned individuals and forces to participate in the peaceful and organized popular movement for the liberation of Armenia.

 

2 comments
  1. Նահանջի ճանապարհ չկա

    Վարձքներդ կատար, տղերք։ Ձեզ հետ ենք։  Հա՛մ Տեր Զորում հանգչող մեր զոհերը, հա՛մ էլ մեր զավակները ավելին են արժանի քան այն խայտառակ իշխանությունը որ ունենք հիմա։ Նահանջի ճանապարհ չկա։ Միայն առաջ…

  2. “Independent” Armenia

    We do not need make comparisons with the Marxist definition of a colonial country, since the title is “Manifesto”. The title could be different, but the reality of Armenia's political system is that of a colonized country.

    Why are Diaspora Armenians trying to avoid seeing and acknowledging what is going on in Armenia? Why avoid of the word “colonial”?

    Let us analyze the situation and understand how is a colonial system different from the current political regime in Armenia.

    1. Armenia has a friendly neighboring country, Iran, which in goodwill, is offering gas and oil at lower than standard prices. However, Armenia has to buy these resources from Russia, via Georgia, which “sometimes” experience delivery problems. Russia forces Armenian leaders to buy gas and oil from Russia to keep Armenia subject to Moscow.

    2. Armenia was offered–by Iran–a jointly-financed special gas pipeline from Iran to Armenia. Iran also offered financial aid for its construction. Russia did not allow the laying of the pipeline. Incidentally, the pipeline would have been of larger than standard size.

    3. Iran offered to invest in the building of a railway between the two countries, with the possibility of expanding it to the Persian Gulf. Russians did not allow the railway because Armenia could gain many benefits from it and stop being a vassal to Brother Russia.

    4. Iran offered Armenia the building of a huge oil refinery on the boarder of the two countries. The huge plant would have expanded the business association between Armenia and Iran. Russia was against the idea. Because of Russia's rejection, Armenia lost not only the economic benefits but also thousands of jobs.

    5. Armenia has a good army with dedicated soldiers. The world acknowledged that fact. However, Armenian soldiers are not allowed to protect their homeland. As a colonial country, Armenia's borders have to be defended by Russian soldiers. Why has an independent country given its border defense to former Soviet soldiers? Can't Armenian soldiers defend Armenia's borders? They can but Russia does not want to give up the borders of such an important region to it native people. Russian does not allow Armenians to be involved in such important matters as the defense of the country's borders.

    6. Russians have expressed their huge displeasure that the Russian language is being forced out of Armenia. There was a time in Armenia when even dissertations had to be written in Russian. Russians were unhappy that we wanted to keep our Armenian language and thus forced their language on Armenia.

    7. There is little left in Armenia that could be done without the Russians. Most of the huge plants, railways, and other strategically-important assets are in Russian hands. That is why colonial Armenia's leaders have to go to Moscow to ask the permission on how to resolve important question related to Armenia. Now they have to get Tsar Putin's permission. There were Soviet Tsars before Putin, and before that Russian Tsars. Not much has changed since Armenia became "independent". Is Armenia independent?

    Varvara Gasparyan

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