D. Harutyunyan: “PACE observing mission should make researches and publish a report itself”

PACE held its next session in the capital of Albania yesterday. During the session a report about the parliamentarian election in Armenia was accepted (Doc. 12937). Baroness Emma Nicholson Winterborn from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats of Europe (ALDE) is the author of the report.

As the report shows liberal Englishwoman is dissatisfied. This dissatisfaction was quite predictable after Baroness’s warm pre-electoral meetings with local liberals, especially with the Armenian National Congess (ANC) coordinator Levon Zurabyan. This sympathy was reflected in the 13-page report which was based not on the deep researches of the pre-electoral situation in Armenia and not on the own studies and not even on the conversations with various sources. Baroness was limited just by some disputable thoughts which lead to the unwanted ideas.

OSCE/ODIHR report presented balanced attitude to the pre-electoral campaign, presented negative and positive sides of the process. But Mrs. Nicholson expressed subjective and let us say even pro-ANC attitude in the report and it forced the electorate not to trust in the report at all. But we can guess that it troubles Baroness less of all. She is more interested in the not friendly neighbors of us where the topic of elections is a really hard theme.

Just a glance to the reports of the European counties is enough to find that there is nothing to hang. But even it does not disturb EC to make a favor for the favorites by criticizing the opponents. “Friendship” between Azerbaijan and Europe is described in details in the research by non-commercial scientific-researching institute European Stability Initiative (ESI).

“Diplomacy is for getting profitable friends, making alliances and getting agreements. Azerbaijani and EC case went a little bit deeper. As Azerbaijani sources in Strasburg inform on 2011 Baku tried to have an influence on the politics using roe. And they tried it systematically”, the research says. “One kg black caviar costs 1300-1400 Euros. Our friends in PACE (nearly 10-12 people) get minimum 0.4-0.6 kg of this delicates during every session which means four times in a year. Besides this there are 3-4 people in the secretaries.”

But this is not the whole story. PACE members got also weighty caviar presents besides other gifts (silk, carpets, gold, silver). “It is obvious that not all PACE members are so communicable but as the conversations with some members of the organization showed caviar plays rather important role in accepting various resolutions and decisions,- ESI concludes and adds with pity: It was supposed that Azerbaijani acceptance in the EC would become a start for positive movements, but unfortunately…”

We will not say whether the remarks by Mrs. Nicholson have any connection with her love towards the Azerbaijani caviar. May be and do not have. But the case with Armenian cognac which Armenian Ambassador to the UN Karine Khazinyan presented to her seems to be too artificial and is spread by the pro-ANC media with some subtext. According to the media Armenian diplomat left the cognac in the box and Baroness noted it then. And as British law forbids getting any presents she gave the cognac to charity. It sounds strange. But may be cognac diplomacy is not so popular for the PACE members as the caviar diplomacy is popular.

Davit Harutyunyan, leader of the Armenian delegation to PACE gave rather adequate and predictable reaction to the report. As he told the magazine “Novoe vremya ” (“New time”) he considered the PACE document “caused amazement and perplexity”.

Answering to the question about the “not concrete lists of the elections” which was described in the report, D. Harutyunyan said:

Armeniagot final success in the creation of elections’ lists. In this issueArmeniafollowed the offers by the Venice Commission and OCSE/ODIHR. All accusations in PACE report towardsArmeniaare shallow and ignore the sensible explanations by Armenian authorities”.

D. Harutyunyan also commented on the announcement according which “many new passports appeared on the elections. “Many passports which were given on 2011-2012 are explained very easy.RepublicofArmeniastarted to give national passports to the people on 1992 with 10-year term. And it is natural that on 2011-2012 the term of these passports is over. So they must be replaced with new ones”.

Mr. Harutyunyan also commented on the “increased number of the electors”. “Index of births was higher on 1990-1994 and that is why many citizens inArmeniagot right for the election on 2012”.

“PACE observing mission should make researches and publish a report itself…The report must be based on real researches and not on words and conversation”, D. Harutyunyan advised.

Article was published in Russian in magazine “Novoe vremya” (“New time”).

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