"It is a paper, not a law"


04:45 pm | May 19, 2010 | Politics

Tomorrow morning Armenia’s parliament will start first reading of a
bill on making amendments to the RA Law on Television and Radio.

Armenian parliamentarians today held a heated debate over the
controversial bill.

"Yesterday Minister of Economy Nerses Yeritsyan blamed us for
criticizing bills and said this one was a simple paper. He is right as
the bill does not meet the word and spirits of a law," said Heritage
MP Anahit Bakhshyan.

Her teammate Armen Martirosyan criticized his colleagues for their
unserious attitude towards the Armenian parliament saying all issues
in Armenia are described as technical rather than political ones.

ARF-Dashnaktsutyun MP Artsvik Minasyan suggested that the National
Commission on Television and Radio should be debarred from granting

"There are not serious guarantees to protect the sphere from
monopolies," said Mr. Minasyan.

Republican and OYK MPs praised the bill saying it implied not political
context and suggested only technical solutions.

The most striking was NA Speaker Hovik Abrahamyan’s speech who voiced
concern over serous provisions of the bill.

"The bill does not address vital issues connected with digitalization.

The roles of the Regulatory Body, National Commission on Television
and Radio and Ministry of Economy are still to be specified. It is
important to know what powers these bodies have," said Mr. Abrahamyan.

"However, I suggest that the bill should be adopted in the first
reading for subsequent hearings in the relevant committee," said

According to preliminary information, OYK and Republican will vote for
the bill whileHeritage and ARF-Dashnaktsutyun against the amendments.

Prosperous Armenia Party will determine its stance after holding
consultations with party leader Gagik Tsarukyan.

The bill envisages organization of a tender for licensing of 18
frequencies, starting July 1, 2010.