PACE Resolution Does Not Establish Winners or Losers

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–Deputy Parliament speaker Tigran Torosian said on Monday that the resolution on the political situation in Armenia adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) last week–establishes neither losers nor winners in Armenia. "Some people are trying to attribute ludicrous victories and defeats to themselves or their opponents. This is not about winning or losing."

Torosian–the head of the Armenian delegation at PACE–said the resolution does not refer to a referendum of confidence–saying that Council of Europe Secretary General Walter Schwimmer–in meeting with the Armenian delegation–instead directed opposition MPs to get off the streets and return to the parliament. Torosian called for an end to misinterpretations of the PACE resolution.

PACE Armenia rapporteur Jerzy Jaskiernia made it clear last week that the Council of Europe should not question the legitimacy of last year’s Armenian presidential and parliamentary elections because the fraud surrounding the elections was "not so extensive that we could disqualify the result."The election naturally delivered results–and now many people are satisfied–so our approach to Armenia’should be objective and balanced," he said.

Another member of the Armenian delegation to PACE–Shavarsh Kocharian told the same press conference that the PACE resolution–calling on the authorities and the opposition to enter in a dialogue without preconditions–in effect refers to a referendum of confidence.

Aram Sarkisian of the Artarutyun alliance went as far as to describe the resolution as an "ultimatum" to Kocharian. "All the calls are directed to the authorities," he said–adding that the opposition regards the PACE stance as an endorsement of its campaign for Kocharian’s resignation.

Following an urgent debate on the situation in Armenia–the resolution adopted by PACE last week called on Armenian authorities to allow for peaceful demonstrations–to release those detained during recent demonstrations–to immediately investigate any reported human rights abuses that took place–and to create fair conditions for the media

The resolution also called on the opposition to achieve its goals within the constitutional framework–stressing that both sides should engage in a peaceful dialogue without preconditions.

The Assembly gave Armenia until the opening of the September session to realize progress on its deman’s–at which time the credentials of the Armenian delegation will be reconsidered.

Meanwhile–opposition leaders in Yerevan reaffirmed their decision to hold a "decisive" demonstration against Kocharian on Tuesday. They refused to specify what exactly they will tell supporters to do. Sarkisian did not rule out the possibility of another opposition march towards the presidential palace in Yerevan.

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