Pace Makes Balanced Assessments

PACE MAKES BALANCED ASSESSMENTS

Hayots Ashkhar Daily
Published on April 17, 2008
Armenia

Today, the draft resolution on the activity of the democratic
institutions in Armenia will be put to vote by the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe. Three months after adopting the
document, PACE will touch upon the issue during its summer session.

In a press-conference convened on April 15, J. Prescott, Head of the
PACE observation mission, J. Colombey, Speaker of the PACE Observation
Mission, and Thomas Hammerberg, Council of Europe Commissioner
for Human Rights, expressed clear-cut and balanced assessments with
regard to our country’s compliance with its commitments. They propose
civilized methods for our authorities and opposition to overcome the
existing situation.

They are based on three main principles:

First: PACE, in the person of John Prescott, Head of its observation
mission, reconfirms the international community’s fundamental
assessment with regard to the February 19 presidential elections and
reiterates that they were "mostly in line with the standards of the
Council of Europe."

Second: The major part of the proposals addressed to Armenia through
the PACE Resolution concern the investigation and the negative
consequences of the March 1-2 tragic events rather than the February
19 elections.

Third: The PACE assessments and proposals aim to create certain bases
of bilateral commitments with the purpose of restoring the civilized
relations between the Armenian authorities and opposition.

The latter principle is strictly important for the simple reason that
Ter-Petrosyan and his proponents are, by their statements, interviews
and publications, making unsuccessful attempts of "confusing" PACE’s
sincere concerns and proposals with some "punitive functions" which
are being sketched in their bright imagination. And because no such
tendencies are to be found in the PACE proposals, they are beginning
to condemn the balanced attitude of the European structures, guiding
themselves by the logic "our response to Chamberlain".

It was L. Ter-Petrosyan that laid the foundations of the propaganda
which is being actively circulated in the press supporting the
Armenian Pan-National Movement. In the interview to the Russian "Novoe
Izvestia" newspaper, the ex-President announced that by demanding
Armenia’s compliance with its obligations, the Western structures
"simultaneously forget about their obligations to Armenia".

A question arises as to how the Western structures should perform
their obligations to the Armenian people, by ignoring the authorities
of the state. It turns out that the solution of such puzzle consists
in Ter-Petrosyan’s resolution-desire saying "these authorities will
not be recognized". And as we have already mentioned, it contradicts
J. Prescott’s assessment regarding the February 19 elections.

It turns out that L. Ter-Petrosyan and his propaganda machine are
not actually interested in the democratic ways towards overcoming
the situation, as proposed by the PACE Resolution. They only want
to achieve the non-recognition of the election results and have new
opportunities for destabilizing the internal political situation.

It appears that for some people, PACE is just a "tool" for acceding
to power in one’s own country with the help of "foreigners" rather
than a means of strengthening democracy.

The Azeri members of the PACE delegation are initiating attempts of
"rotating" the same tool from another side, advancing the counteraction
of A. Herkel, co-speaker of Azerbaijan in the Parliamentary Assembly of
the Council of Europe. Reiterating the contents of the dissatisfaction
voiced by the press-supporting the Armenian Pan-National Movement,
Azerbaijani co-speakers in the PACE Monitoring Committee S. Seidov,
G. Pashaev and others are laughing away the serious proposals discussed
in Strasburg with regard to the March 1-2 events.

In such conditions, there obviously emerges a certain convergence
of ideas and approaches between the leadership of the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Armenian authorities in
terms of putting an end to the internal and external speculations
of the events that became a tragedy for our country and people and
getting Armenia on the path of regular development.

Implementing the proposals in the course of three months, the Armenian
authorities may leave their internal and external rivals "offside".

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