Home / Armenia / No Need for Pre-Term Elections: Armenian President to Opposition MP at PACE Session

No Need for Pre-Term Elections: Armenian President to Opposition MP at PACE Session

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan is not preparing to hold pre-term elections in Armenia because neither is there the need nor does Armenia’s Constitution allow for pre-term parliamentary elections to be held so easily. The Armenian leader said this himself at a Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) session in Strasbourg Wednesday, in response to a question by Heritage Party MP, member of Armenia’s delegation to PACE Zaruhi Postanjyan. Note, both were speaking in Armenian.

In her question to Sargsyan, the opposition MP expressed an opinion that an authoritarian regime has been formed in the Republic of Armenia and that elections have been rigged since 1995.

“I would like to know, don’t you wish to initiate real reforms, to join the statute of the International Court of Justice, to initiate pre-term, fair elections and resign? Nevertheless, I believe that, all the same, authoritarian regimes will fail; it would be better if you left voluntarily and our people will understand and accept that,” she said, continuing to speak even after she surpassed the 30 seconds allotted and was prompted to wrap up.

“I don’t doubt that you have different opinion, because I am always informed of your opinions, which you quite frequently and freely voice in Armenia — in parliament, as, which is quite normal, on the street, as too in the media, and I respect your opinion, but, of course, I do not agree with it,” responded Sargsyan.

According to the Armenian leader, those who make assessments should also have the will to listen to the assessments of others.

“Just as we listen to the opinions of the opposition and our colleagues in our country. I believe that taking place in Armenia are, indeed, important, comprehensive reforms. We have repeatedly called on all to participate in these reforms, participate with their work, with their assessments, with their criticism, but also, of course, with their specific, constructive proposals.

“I believe that it would be much better that you as well — because you are a very active politician — participated in our discussions, to make your contribution in the reforms in our country, and I urge you to actively participate in the next elections. I believe, during the next elections, we again have to be attentive to the opinion of our colleagues, because as you heard, we have always been, as well in the past, willing to accept international observers in our country. Because this is that circumstance in which the third party’s opinion has to be very significant.

“I agree with you, that an atmosphere of distrust has developed in our country particularly with respect to elections. Also in my speech I said that it’s not enough to hold fair and lawful elections — it’s necessary that the public accept them as such. I urge [you] to form such an opinion among the public,” he said.