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February 2-8: Former presidents of RA as witnesses in the case…

Armenia in the spotlight of Freedom house

The organization of Freedom House has published its annual report on “Freedom in the World” information concerning Armenia was included as well. In report it is particularly mentioned that in 2018 Armenia has made unprecedented progress in terms of democratization, but still is considered to be a partially free country, as it was in the previous year. The same goes for Georgia, in the region counterpart. Other bordering countries: Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iran are listed as non-free countries. Armenia’s strategic partner Russia is also listed as a non-free country.

“In Armenia, massive nonviolent demonstrations forced the resignation of Serzh Sargsyan, the country’s leader since 2008, who had tried to evade term limits by moving from the presidency to prime minister’s office. Following snap elections in December, a new reformist majority in the parliament has pledged to promote transparency and accountability for corruption and abuse of office.” This was stated in the report on political developments following the events in spring 2018. It should be noted that according to the Freedom House’s “Freedom on the Net” report’s assessment by fall of 2018, Armenia has moved from partly free internet countries to the ranks of internet free ones.

Appointed new governors in Shirak and Tavush regions

According to this week’s governmental decisions have been implemented a number of changes in the governmental sector. According to February 6 decision Tigran Pogosyan has been appointed as the governor of Shirak region and Hayk Chobanyan as the governor of Tavush region. They are both deputies of “My step” faction from the 7th convocation of the National Assembly. On the same day by the Prime Minister’s decision Inessa Gabayan has been removed from the Water Committee chairman’s post. Gabayan has mentioned, that she has been removed from the post according to her own resignation.

The first and the third Presidents of Armenia were questioned

The former Presidents of Armenia Levon Ter- Petrosyan and Serzh Sargsyan have been questioned concerning the “March 1” case. Serzh Sargsyan’s interrogation overall lasted 8 hours. Levon Ter Petrosyan’s lasted 1,5 hours. They are involved as witnesses in “March 1 case”. The second president Robert Kocharyan’s interrogation on the same case goes on. The court’s decision concerning the pretrial restraining measures was announced on 7 February. Robert Kocharyan will remain in detention.

Armenian applications to European Court

European Court of Human Rights has published the Annual Statistic Report of 2018. According to the report Armenia has filed 1901 applications to ECHR, which is 3,4% of overall applications to the Court. According to this index Armenia is ranked 8th among the member states of the Council of Europe. The biggest number of applications have been received from Russia: 11,750 applications.

Applications sent from Armenia to ECHR has accepted 167 for proceedings, has rejected 72 and has delivered a sentence for 16 applications. In the case of 15 applications have been recognized at least one provision violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. In 2017 has been filed 356 and 753 applications in 2016.

The Government approved the programme and sent to National Assembly

The Government approved the programme of the coming years in Government’s extraordinary session. That had been sent to National Assembly for discussion and approval. The Prime Minister of RA Nikol Pashinyan mentioned Assembly for discussion this governmental programme they announce the launching of economic revolution. According to the programme’s developers the document was drawn up on the base of “My step” faction’s pre-electional programme.

Discussions about structural changes in the government have been finished. PM Nikol Pashinyan write on his Facebook page, that there will be 12 ministries in Armenia and that a new post of the Chief Diaspora Commissioner will be created. The Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology will be renamed into the Ministry of technologies and Military industry. There will continue to obey the orders of PM.

The government programme is expected to be discussed at the National Assembly on 12 February.

The draft of “The fight against tobacco”

The Ministry of Health has presented a draft to the government according to which smoking in indoor public places is banned. The draft programme’s discussions will launch in a month, but the perspective of non- smoke environment has already received a wide response in the community.

The minister of Health Arsen Tororsyan has also joined the campaign and the internet action of the fight against smoking. In his Facebook account he periodically publishes pictures from restaurants, where smoking is prohibited. He has also published research on how 100% without smoke environment legislation would effect on profits of restaurants, bars and pubs.

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First Published: 09/02/2019