Marat Terterov: Armenia’s long term security will be better served by strengthening economic security, rather than defining national security on the basis of the Tsarist Russian catch-cry “armiya i flot”
The release of persons imprisoned in relation to the events of March 2008, and the renewed impetus to the investigation of the deaths which occurred during the period of parliamentary elections in Armenia, as well as the start of a constructive political dialogue between the opposition and the ruling
coalition, constituted positive developments during the reporting period, says Doc. 12954 "The Progress of the Assembly's Monitoring Procedure (June 2011-May 2012)", drafted by Andres Herkel, Estonia, Group of the European People's Party, and to be heard on Friday.
ArmInfo's own correspondent in Strasbourg quotes the report as saying that "the tragic events of March 2008 and their aftermath have set clear priorities for democratic progress in the country. These priorities included the conduct of genuinely free and fair parliamentary elections in compliance with democratic standards, the creation of a democratic political environment favoring the establishment of a pluralist system; a pluralist media environment, and the reform of the police and the judiciary, with a view to guaranteeing their independence."
The report continues that "in the run-up to the parliamentary elections, the political environment has improved dramatically and the opposition has become a well-organized viable political force. Also given the political differences in the ruling coalition, the election took place in a genuinely competitive environment."
With regard to the reform of the judiciary and the police, the report says that "during their last visit the rapporteurs noted with satisfaction a number of measures undertaken by the authorities with a view to fulfilling the recommendations of the Assembly. In particular, the announcement by the authorities that an independent police complaints mechanism would be established, in line with Assembly recommendations, should be welcomed. However, as confirmed by the Minister of Justice, these reforms alone will not be enough to ensure the independence of the courts or make corruption disappear.
For that to happen, a change of mentality is needed. It is hoped that the appointment of a new generation of young and better educated judges will bring about such a change of mentality."