PACE President, Mevlüt Çavusoglu, has called on the authorities of Armenia to draw on the recommendations of its ad hoc parliamentary committee and of PACE in relation to the 1-2 March 2008 events and to adopt and implement in due time a roadmap of reforms. Such clear determination is needed in order to restore public confidence, move towards reconciliation and consolidate the democratic process in the country.
At the end of his visit to the country, PACE President encouraged the National Assembly to play to the full its role of parliamentary control, in particular when discussing the reports that will be submitted by its Committee on State and Legal Affairs, which is responsible for the monitoring of the implementation of the reforms needed in relation to the March 2008 events. The President praised the excellent co-operation that has been existing with the Armenian delegation to PACE in that respect.
Amongst the most important reforms needed, the President stressed: the adoption of a new electoral code, up to the highest European standards, well ahead of the 2012 parliamentary elections; the reform of the police, including better education and a change in the mentality; the reforms needed to ensure the independence in the justice sector; the unrestricted implementation of the law on freedom of assembly; and the independence and pluralism of the media, in particular with regard to the tender on broadcasting licences that would be organised in July 2010.
At the same time, the President considered it "unacceptable" that nobody has been held responsible in relation to the 10 deaths that occurred during the March 2008 events. He also stressed that the issue of persons detained in relation to the events of March 2008 is not fully resolved either.
With regard to the Nagorno Karabakh issue, the President stressed that both Armenia and Azerbaijan have to abide by Parliamentary Assembly resolutions, in particular Resolution 1416 of 2005. The Assembly, for its part, has the duty to monitor how its recommendations are implemented by member states. He said he would continue consultations with the chairmen of the Armenian and Azeri delegations to PACE, separately and jointly, including also a representative of the opposition on each side, until a solution and a format are found which are satisfactory for both sides.
During his visit, the President met with the President of the Republic, the Speaker of Parliament, most political forces represented in Parliament, the PACE delegation, the Human Rights Defender, the National Commission for Radio and Television, NGOs, the extra-parliamentary opposition and families of victims of the events of 1-2 March 2008.