Tbilisi: Armenian MPs need ethics code

The Messenger, Georgia
Oct 22 2004

Armenian MPs need ethics code

According to the Armenian newspaper Aravot, it is necessary to adopt
immediately a code of ethics for members of parliament. Some Armenian
parliamentarians have reached this conclusion following a scandal in
the Armenian National Meeting, during which one member of parliament
was accusing another of being homosexual, and in response the accused
promised him to solve this problem in the street.
The newspaper says that parliamentarians should resolve differences
within the framework of an ethics code, and not through unprintable
invective – not matter what the political disagreement. Such a code
has been suggested in the past, but never adopted, and only two of
the post-Soviet countries – Georgia and Lithuania – have adopted such
a code.
Georgian MPs have signed their code recently, and the newspaper
reports that the adoption involved a great deal of fun all round,
with famous parliamentarian bullies promising not to fight during
sessions any more, and young MPs swearing that they would never again
chew gum during the sessions and voting.
In response to the initiative of Speaker of Parliament Nino
Burjanadze, members of parliament decided in a friendly fashion to
dress and behave according to ethical norms. Particularly, the
Georgian parliamentarians are obliged not to appear in the hall of
the session in bedroom-slippers and T-shirts.
The newspaper says that in the Armenian parliament, the opposition
conducts itself in a more civil way then others do. “It must be said,
that our opposition, despite being full of criminals and street
thugs, conducts itself more seriously. Unlike the Georgia
parliamentarians, Armenian ones do not try to attend the sessions in
T-shirts and slippers; on the contrary, they always wear suits, but
it is still necessary to remind them that it is impossible to quarrel
using obscene language and to hold fisticuffs in the parliament.”