Football is the hobby of Arpine Hovhannisyan, MP from Republican Party (RPA), Chair of the Interim Commission on Ethics. However it is only the hobby as she likes to watch football and does not play it. As for the literature, the works of one of the French writers had had a great influence on her in her young years. Arpine Hovhannisyan does not exclude that in 2015 she will eliminate the most important “not” from her biography.
Arpine Hovhannisyan about the legislative work and the reverse side of the iceberg: marriage, fidelity, and the fear to be stoned by “Barcelona” fans. Which book had the greatest influence upon her, what funny stories she remembers from the university years? The answers to these and other questions may be found in the regular interview of the series “Women in the Legislative”.
Let’s start the interview from summerzing the 2014. Which was the most important achievement for you in practice and in personnal life?
In practical terms it was quiet, I can say it was a staible year, but the country’s political life was full of important events. From personal aspect perhaps it is difficult to point specific achievements, no special events have occurred. I think that the absence of shocks is an important achievement; I am always in for the sustainable development.
Why did you choose law as a profession?
It’s difficult to give a definite answer, but there is no point in my life when I regretted for that decision, if given the opportunity, I would still choose this profession. Perhaps, certainty, clarity, predictability of rules or the written laws, this all are close to my character. However, there was not any external influence on my decision.
What is interesting and funny stories will you remember from university years?
I am a fourth year student, I remember the first time I did not pass the test because I had a fever, it was the sensation of the year. All were telling each other that I have not passed that test. This was a very interesting case, because if it did not happen, the story of my exams and test would have been really very monotonous. It seemed to be like a written rule, I pass tests without any difficulty. In addition I got excelklent in all exams.
How did it happen that you entered the National Assembly? Did you originally intend to deal with the legislative branch?
There was no specific intention. My state work practice is rater long for my age. I have around 12 years of such practice. Before becoming an MP, I worked at the Parliament for some time.
Do you remember funny stories from your work practice?
I think Parliament is the body, which ridiculous cases become public just in a few seconds. Inside the walls they are less funny and less fascinating. It is difficult for me to mention something that has not appeared in the press yet.
From changes in legislative field which you have suggested for example I shall mention the changes in fines referring to the traffic rules and the regulations in cumpulsary enforcement service. What important legislative initiatives will you remember?
My profession provides opportunity to intensively be involved in the legislative activities. The two bills you metioned of course were the most important bills in this year, but I shall not be mistaken if I say that I am the author or co-author of over 40 draft laws.
Women and legislative activities. Are you satisfied with the involvement of women in Parliament?
I have always been a proponent of the view that positive discrimination. This means we shall not appreciate the artificlial involvement of women in the electoral code and or artificial increase of the number of women. All this must be assessed from thye aspect of the coefficient of efficiency, the work perfomed, the place, and the role.
We also hear about you speaking from the international podiums, please tell a few words about this aspect of your work.
It is an integral part of the parliamentary diplomacy. I am a member of a delegation at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. It is quite interesting and at the same time difficult work of course, where considerable work remains at the backstage, in the shadow. There is only visible the upper part of the iceberg that often does not create even a light doubt on the underneath the existing size, depth and content. It’s a fight for our country’s interests and security and for our people.
When I was a student at the Faculty of Journalism of YSU, you were our lecturer. I have noticed the strictness, balance and restraint of your character when I was still a student. Judging from your speeches you are the sameat the National Assembly as well. But lets us try to be beyond of all these. What are you like in the family, among the friends and relatives?
In fact my character is not very soft, but no doubt outside the NA I am softer, or perhaps direct. In many respects, I have noted that sincerity is extremely important in all relationships and relationships with everyone, and I am especially sincere with my students. And you also may confirm it. There are traits that compose the human essential characteristics. In that sense, of course I cannot change for a 100 percents. Be another Arpine here and essentially other at home.
What are your preferences in regard to the books, films and music?
I like like reading books very much. Especially in recent years due to my being a very busy person I consider beginning reading of a new book and finishiung it as achievement, as I do my best to finish it.
Which book had a great influence on you?
Every age has had a book which influenced upon me. But Honore de Balzac, played a great role with his various works. Perhaps the reason is that once at the age of17-18, I took Balzac and tried to read it, but reaching the middle of the book, I realized that I was not able to finish it.
Which book do you speek about “Les Chouans”, ” The Shagreen Skin”, “A Woman of Thirty”?
“A Woman of Thirty”, I took that book first, but I could not finish itr. But just a year later, I read all the books by Balzac, which were available to us, just in a few days.
“The Human Comedy” in 10 volumes?
Yes, in one breath, I can not say it was emotional state, I feel the need for more in-depth features, detection of human nature. In any case, it had a great impact on me, a long time after that, I was unable to read anything. The book is man’s best friend, and then you are sincere, open to the influence which that book may have upon you. But the people as a rule are not completely open, the soul. People usually never completely open the soul, never exposed to allow an X person, or circumstance or phenomenon to have their impact on the person.
What movies do you watch?
In general I do not watch films.
What kind of music do you listen to?
Different, it depends of the mood. It may be classical music or rock, even the club music. It all depends of my mood and the state of mind. I do not listen “Hard Rock”, I cannot; besides there is nothing artistic in that music for me.
Let’s talk about hobbies.
Football: I watch it, but do not play.
There is a women’s soccer team in Armenia, was there a desire to play for that team?Never. Only to watch. There was time when I watched much. Now I do it less, but I follow. I like football more at club level, as for the national level, of course, I watch the games. “Real Madrid” is my favourite team. “Barcelona” fans, please do not stone me, but I must be honest. А person should be able to retain devotion in any situation, even if he knows that he is going to be stoned. It is already more than ten years that I admire that team.
I read your bio on the website of the National Assembly, there is a point there, which I would like to talk about. “Unmarried”, maybe in 2015, the prefix “un” will be removed from your life and from the official website of the NA.
Maybe. Why not? (She smiles; G.T). But this “un” has its objective reasons. Let me say so: Yveryone in his/her life has his/her time; if ther is this “un” it means that the time to remove this “un” has not yet come. When the time will come the “un” will be removed and everything will be clear.
You are imbued with the spirit of Balzac; Balzac has a powerful romanticism.
Yes, but romanticism is not enough for important steps. It is a decision that must be made, not only by the heart, but also by soul and mind, realizing what step you are doing. Responsibility is not only for you and your life, but also for the other, first of all you shall undertake responsibility for another person.
Interview by Gevorg Tosunyan
Photos by Zakar Iskandaryan
Author of the idea – Karen Zadoyan