1895) Dashnaktsutyun -115* Years (2006)

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What is Dashnaktsutiun - political party, ideology, or one of its kind world-wide alliance of Armenians? Political scientists talk about the phenomenon of long-Dashnaktsutiun, seeing him in a unique organizational structure. Since they are bound by the Dashnaks waiver Senate United States from direct assistance to Azerbaijan due to its blockade of Nagorno Karabakh and the European Parliament's resolution in support of Armenia. . .
The party is now over 115 years, and it seems that everything is just beginning. Some continue to call Dashnaks dreamers, others - tireless fighters for freedom. But the judge is always on, as are many of them. When in November of 1890 in Tiflis was established Armenian Revolutionary Party Dashnaktsutyun, its founders Christopher Mikaelyan, Simon and Stephen Zavaryan Zoryan as the nearest goals identified achieving political and economic freedom in Turkish Armenia, and the ultimate - the restoration of a unified Armenian state. Dashnak spearheaded the first Armenian Republic of 1918-1920. And then, working 70 years in exile, were the nucleus, which provided self-Armenian diaspora. In 1990, they returned to their homeland. Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Dashnaktsutyun now belongs to the ruling coalition has 11 seats in Parliament, the two ministries and two gubernatorial portfolios. A single, free and independent Armenia is still a primary goal of the party.

- Mr. Margaryan, the historical path of your party is complicated and full of dramatic events. You see not so much as a political organization but as an ideology, which at one time was able to mobilize in the face of the Armenian national threat, and subsequently merged to self in the diaspora. Today you have the opportunity to openly operate in the territory of Armenia and to participate actively in political life. In this regard, what the priorities and objectives you set for itself?
- During our 115-year history, with the exception of the first years of the 1918 - 1920 biennium. we are actually the first part of the Government, as part of the ruling coalition. This is one of the most important new reality for our party, new challenges and tests that we should take. But at the same time, for us the question is a combination of public participation in governance with the national liberation struggle. That is, on the one hand, we must work within the government, but on the other - to continue to defend the interests of Armenians as a whole and remain znamenonostsem their political struggle. Since the independence of Armenia, the situation changed and the diaspora as a whole. It must conform to the new reality, and it is also consistent with our commitments.

- Structures Dashnaktsutyun operate around the world - on five continents, which is unique for a political organization. As far as today justifies a principle of decentralized management, enshrined even in 1894? How is the party and how to follow intra-and inter-relations?

- Our structures are more than 30 countries. In fact, we are present in all states where large numbers of Armenians - from Brazil and Uruguay to France and Australia, apart from the CIS states. ARF - the only Armenian party which is represented in the Republic of Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Javakhk, in the classical diaspora and now seeks to establish a presence in the Armenian diaspora of post-Soviet space. Naturally, this imposes on us certain obligations. We continue to adhere to the principle of decentralized management, because it is through him were able to create an organization to maintain its capacity and ensure effective management. In 1890, when the party, the need for such guidance has been dictated by the historical realities: Armenia was divided into Western and Eastern parts. Today this principle is still valid, based on the fact that the Armenians spread all over the world. With regard to structural organization, there is the main body - the Bureau, which is responsible for the entire party and performs a coordinating function. In the composition of this body of nine people from different countries. Every four years, at a general (universal) assembly is elected by the Bureau of Dashnaktsutyun. Since the establishment of the party was held 29 such meetings.

Each territorial organization in the country has its own governing body, acting autonomously. In Armenia - is the Supreme Body of the NKR - The Central Committee of Karabakh, France - The Central Committee of the French in Canada - The Central Committee of Canada and so on. Around the party united fraternal organizations such as the Union of Armenians of assistance (social affairs, charity, nursing homes, kindergartens), National Union for Culture and Education (the establishment of schools, universities, cultural centers, theaters, publishing books in the diaspora), and Armenian sports - scout's organization, which involved tens of thousands of people.

- Mr. Margaryan, Dashnaktsutyun was born at the turn of centuries, as the party to unite around a youth who belonged to various revolutionary groups. There then, in 1890, it was possible to imagine that will grow into a circle of Christopher Mikayelyan «Young Armenia». How many young people now involved in the party?

- In the Armenian world, we are the only party that has the largest youth organizations. Some of them are party structures and are directly involved in the life of the party, while others - with the ARF, unite Armenian youth to participate in cultural and sports activities. They exist in all countries, where the structure Dashnaktsutyun. Last year we celebrated the 100 th anniversary of the Lebanese Student Union ARF them. S. Zavaryan. In Canada, where tens of years, acts proven youth organization, was created a year ago, Student Union. In Armenia, this year we celebrated the 15 anniversary of the Student Union ARF them. N. Aghbalyan. In this sense, compared to other NGOs we are very young, despite the fact that we are already 115 years old.

- Creation of 115 years ago, it was dictated by historical necessity. We need a force to unite the Armenians and the creation of an ideological platform, which could give the popular resistance of a political process. Your predecessors was able to do so. From what ideology you speak today?

- Specificity of ARF that is a national organization. We were established in order to restore the Armenian statehood and create opportunities for further development of the Armenian people. Until that goal is not achieved in full, the organization retains its capacity. We have a number of stages - from the classic national liberation struggle against the Ottoman Empire prior to joining the ruling coalition of the Republic of Armenia. We operate in conditions of Czarist Russia, founded the first independent Armenian republic in 1918, in the diaspora for the physical preservation of the Armenians took part in the Lebanese civil war, and now we are still active. Without derogating from the merit of other organizations in the Karabakh struggle, because this victory belongs to the people, I want to point out that the contribution of ARF in the Armenian resistance was special. We have become a force that was able to unite the Armenian youth to the liberation of Karabakh. Participation in this fight with the full impact was of paramount importance. As the bearers of the ideology of national liberation movements, we were able to explain to the Karabakh simple truth that the hope for exemption, he must impose on themselves. In Armenia in the early 90-ies, we oppose attempts to entrench the totalitarian regime and paid a high price. The work party has been suspended, began the harassment against its members, the leadership was imprisoned. But at any stage, whether the national-liberation struggle of the NK activity or in opposition, we did not attempt to destabilize the political situation in Armenia and Karabakh struggle to turn the subject of party games. We fought for the liberation of Karabakh, and having a power in the first stage, presented on a tray of the Armenian authorities, so as not wanted in his own country to become an alternative force. We did not want to create the ground for interference. In our organization it has become the biggest advantage.

- There are different models of the Karabakh settlement, how you see it?
- The only option - option Armenian people, the people of Artsakh.
- Mr. Margaryan, in this case, I appeal to you not only as chairman of the Bureau of ARF, but also as a representative of one of the party in power.

The official position of the Armenian side and is clearly set forth that must be taken into account the right of residents of Nagorno Karabakh to self-determination, physical relationship with the Republic of Armenia and the security of Karabakh people. For my part, I may add that the Karabakh issue for us can be resolved only by adhering to Armenia. In this situation, what it means to resolve the issue? To achieve peace. In Karabakh 9 years, there is no war.

In August 1990 the Dashnak Party officially returned to Armenia. Now ARF fourth of representation in Parliament after the party «Republican Party», «of Law» and «Justice», and the third in the ruling coalition. What are the priorities you have set for ourselves in Armenia?

- Drawing up the ruling coalition, of course, we are responsible for the actions of management. At the same time, many people in Armenia are aware that the power in a sense we are the opposition. Not only do we oppose the creation of monopolies and corruption, but also put forward concrete programs to deal with them. Our main objective - to strengthen the statehood of Armenia, ensuring the safety of the republic and the creation of conditions for the development of the population. And the successful resolution of these issues provides an opportunity to achieve national objectives. We understand that operate in the 21 st century and need to create real conditions in order to give our people the opportunity to grow and be competitive and progressive in the modern world. These conditions we are obliged to create it in our state. And for that we should have a strong state, to create real guarantees of security and equal opportunities for all citizens. This is the priority issues on the agenda of ARF.

- Mr. Margaryan, can we assume that all of the above you would be part of the pre-program the candidate of the ARF at the upcoming 2008 presidential elections in Armenia, of course, if you decided to propose a man?

- These provisions were in a pre-program, with which our party has participated in parliamentary elections. You know, we are, in general, consistent with our stated ambitions and priorities. And in the upcoming elections will also abide by them.

- Mr. Margaryan, Dashnak historically linked to Russia. The party was founded and the first decade was based on the territory of the Russian Empire. Esery and cadets felt Dashnaks its allies, in contrast to RSDRP. How to build relations with modern Russia?
- Unfortunately, in Russia during Soviet rule to define the stereotypical attitude towards us that could not have consequences. In a sense, this attitude is to tangibly inertia today. We are trying to show concern for this and consistently expanding our communications. The nice thing is that when dealing with any audience, and political figures in Russia, we quickly reach mutual understanding. But a long way to go in this direction, as well as the political elite in Russia there is no single approach nor to the future of Russia itself, nor its role in our region. The people asked: where is Russia and what the purpose? We want to see a multipolar world, where the basis of the interaction of nations and peoples will be mutual. Contemporary international relations, unfortunately, present a different picture. We are witnessing an attempt to establish a unipolar world.

- Against the backdrop «Rose Revolution» in Georgia and the «orange revolution» in Ukraine Armenia remains, perhaps, the only stable partner for Russia in the Caucasus. How do you assess the degree of Moscow's presence in the region?

- Fortunately, the situation in Armenia's political stability and has maintained this stability, it is unlikely intervention from outside. Whose sphere of influence includes the South Caucasus region, regardless of the will of local people, decided two States - the United States and Russia, and Moscow so far inferior to their positions in this field. This is certainly a cause for concern. Yes, Armenia - an ally of Russia, and the country has its military bases, yes, our security, we also associate with Russia, but to be with Russia, you need to be present in the region, do you understand?

- Question the continued presence without losing the influence of former seems painful in this case. Mr. Margaryan, today in Russia and other CIS countries live, according to official data, some 2.8 million Armenians. As far as goals and objectives, which has the ARF, this mass of information available to the Armenians?

- In the CIS countries, particularly in Russia, as I said, we are faced with the problem of stereotypical thinking, and first have to break those misconceptions. Now we do not have sufficient leverage provided by the State. Our activity in the Armenian community in Russia, I think, would be beneficial, and Russia itself. You know, an Armenian, who is not a good Armenian can not be a good citizen of the country, where, be it Russia, the United States or France. The strength of the Armenians in their organization. By organized, I mean the existence of self-esteem and the ability to perceive the state in which you live, as its own. Organization of the Armenians living in Russia, I think, comes from the state of Russia itself.

- What is being done in order to beat one's stereotypes about which you speak?
- We operate in two directions - are in education and building relationships. At the beginning of 90th years, we founded the magazine «ProArmenia» in Moscow. Multilateral development of our relationship also contributes to the activities of the Moscow organization «Russian-Armenian Commonwealth».

- Mr. Margaryan, the issue of dual citizenship is very important for the Armenians living in Russia. Since gaining its independence, you consistently advocated for the provision of dual citizenship, and eventually made a proposal in the package of constitutional amendments. Is it possible to predict when it will be possible?

- The main obstacle - it exists in the Constitution of 1995 rule that prohibits dual citizenship. The amendments to the Constitution, on which the November 27 referendum to pass, includes provisions to eliminate the rule, and imposing an article which would allow for the provision of dual citizenship. Following the approval by referendum of the amendments should be adopted by law on dual citizenship. We strive to create conditions under which the Armenian Diaspora can become and feel like a citizen of Armenia, to feel their responsibility for the future of their homeland and to bear certain obligations to them. In ARF the national mission, not just public. Our homeland is not only the Republic of Armenia. For us, the native land begins and ends with the Armenians, and we see in every Armenian and everyone, and feel responsible. Caring for the Armenians living around the world believe their care. No one can reproach us that we are doing less of what we can. Today we have an opportunity to increase their strength and to act on a different quality. In the end, our goal - to ensure that the Armenian people was a real force in the region and internationally. I think that in today's reality to us is given this chance, and we should use it.

The interview was conducted by Diana Mkrtchyan, specifically for the newspaper «Noah's Ark» 2006


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