John Prescott Calls On All Parties In Armenia To Show "Restraint And


March 12 2008

The FINANCIAL — John Prescott (United Kingdom, SOC), rapporteur
for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on
the Armenian elections, has called upon all sides to show restraint,
respect and avoid any precipitate action that could make matters worse,
following two days of meetings with all relevant parties in Yerevan.

"This is essential if we are to move to a genuine and open dialogue,"
said Mr Prescott. "I am convinced that a solution can be found to
the present difficulties. This requires the recognition by all of the
authority of the Constitutional Court and its ruling on the outcome
of the Presidential election. It also requires the removal of the
state of emergency and the restoration of individual human rights and
freedoms, including political rights, as well as the establishment
of an independent inquiry into the circumstances of the events of
1 March that tragically led to the death of 8 individuals and left
many injured. In addition it will also be necessary to make changes
to Armenia’s election code in order to restore trust in the electoral
system. Next week I intend to communicate to the President of the
Parliamentary Assembly in greater detail how the Assembly could
play an effective role in securing the resolution of this conflict,"
Mr Prescott added.

He pledged that the Assembly will do all it can to help resolve the
ongoing dispute following the recent Presidential election in Armenia.

Whilst in Armenia, Mr Prescott met President Kocharyan, Prime Minister
and President-elect Serghz Sargsyan, former President and candidate
Levon Ter-Petrossyan – who was held in de facto house detention -,
Parliament Speaker Tigran Torosyan, the Chairman of the Constitutional
Court, the Human Rights Defender of Armenia and the Chairman of the
national delegation to PACE, Davit Harutyunyan, as well as leading
political figures and members of civil society and the diplomatic
community in Armenia.

The snap visit was organised following a request from the President
of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Lluís Maria
de Puig, in co-operation with the Chairman of the Armenian delegation
to PACE, following the declaration of emergency.

–Boundary_(ID_LZodjltpPhFRjtQWVSvzKw) —

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