During the OSCE / ODIHR conference in Warsaw on September 10, the coordinator of the “Union of Informed Citizens” Daniel Ioannisyan delivered a speech. The speech is given below.
Everyone here knows that democracy is in serious crisis all around the world. Some OSCE member-states suffer a significant democratic regress, and even impede development of democracy in other countries as well.
However, Armenia, where I come from, gives hope that this sad process is not irreversible. In April of this year, the people of Armenia managed to prevent an anti-democratic development, as a result of which a team came to power that shares democratic values and displays an real will to fight corruption.
In Armenia, we have a situation when there is an opportunity to put democracy on such institutional bases that will ensure its minimal dependence on the will of the executive authorities.
Within the framework of such reforms, a committee on electoral legislation reforms was established by the Armenian primer minister, half of the members of which are representatives of professional NGO’s.
The committee has already developed the concept of the amendments. In particular, it is envisaged to:
- Make the electoral system consistent with the principles of democracy and make the elections more competitive.
- Ensure competition between political programs and ideologies, rather than money and administrative resources.
- Promote political debates to the extent possible, thereby putting objective facts on the basis of expression of the voters’ will, and reducing the impact of propaganda and fake news.
- Make the fight against electoral violations and electoral offenses more efficient, and increase the role of NGOs to achieve that goal.
Most of OSCE/ODHIR and Venice commission commitments will be implemented in the draft of electoral code. By the way, I would like to thank OSCE/ODHIR election observation missions to Armenia lead by ambassador Tagliavini and ambassador Petersen for their frank reports and important recommendations.
We hope that as a result of the amendments it will become impossible for one single party to capture the state in Armenia, and the citizens will restore their trust to election.
I would like to thank OSCE and a number of member-states for their efforts in the protection of minimal democratic elements in Armenia. Thanks to those efforts, it was possible to have a bloodless revolution.
However, we are now in the next stage when it is necessary to support Armenia in putting democratic mechanisms on institutional bases. In particular, protect those reforms from the influence of well-known forces in the region that disrupt democracy.
And generally speaking, it refer not only to elections but also amendments that will guarantee independence of the judicial power, and establishment of institutional anti-corruption mechanisms.
I hope that we will manage to build democracy in Armenia in such a way that we will be discuss it here only as a success story. But we still have much to do to achieve that goal.