Time to carry out surgical interventions in judicial system – Pashinyan
YEREVAN, MAY 20, ARMENPRESS. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan highlights the necessity to carry out surgical interventions in the judicial system.
“Today I inivted you to a meeting to discuss an issue, which, in my opinion, is very urgent and demands an urgent solution. In the past year political changes famous to all of you have taken place in Armenia as a result of which a legitimate government, in other words an executive power, a legitimate Parliament, in other words, a legislative power, have been established in the country that enjoy people’s trust. However, the events of the past one year continue to show that there has not been and is no judicial power enjoying the people’s power in Armenia, and the activity of the judiciary creates turbulence within our public.
I cannot and do not want to make judgments on the legality and validity of the decisions made by the judiciary. This is not within my powers, although it’s impossible to measure all decisions of courts with the same weight and give a similar assessment. Regardless of everything, it’s obvious that the decisions of the judiciary are deeply mistrusted by the people. And I say this not only as a PM, but also as a representative of the Armenian people who has a political will to speak on behalf of the people, the supreme bearers of power in Armenia. The people of Armenia know that they have formed a legislative power with their free expression of will, a government, an executive power, based on the results of the internationally acknowledged free, fair, transparent and democratic parliamentary elections. But the people of Armenia still view the judicial power as a remnant of the former corrupt system where conspiracy is constantly being planned and implemented against the people. To what extent this presumption is realistic and well-grounded, it’s another matter, but the fact that the judiciary doesn’t have the trust of the people, means that it also doesn’t have an enough legitimacy to operate, which today is already a threat to the normal life of our country, its stability and national security. Starting from the first day of my election as PM I have been obliged not to have any interference in the activities of the judiciary, and I kept this duty in a sacred way. But on the other hand I cannot guarantee that the judiciary is not subjected to shadow and illegal influences, mainly by the former corrupt system because these two systems are linked with each other with human, political and other ties”, Pashinyan said in his address today.
The PM questioned the current objective investigation over the 2008 March 1 case under the conditions of the current judicial system.
“I can bring only one example on how confident we can be that today’s judiciary is capable of conducting an objective investigation over the same March 1 case when dozens of illegal actions have been committed by the executive leadership through the judicial system. And now this is already seen with the decisions of the European Court for Human Rights.
This situation also directly affects our fight announced against corruption crimes. Although it has been stated at the highest political level that anti-corruption fight is a priority for us, but due to the absence of trust towards the judiciary the efficiency of the work of investigation agencies is also affected because quite often these agencies work with the presumption that the judiciary will again throw to water all discoveries due to the organic link with that same corruption system.
These problems, of course, are not new, and I have understood this from the first day of my election as PM. But relying on the values, of the peaceful, democratic and velvet revolution of the past one year, I considered that everyone should have an opportunity to participate in the process of building Armenia and bringing his contribution, including through political or legal repentance, deserving the people’s trust via concrete actions. Also I hoped that many judges, understanding that their previous judicial activity and value system are not in accordance with the aspirations of new Armenia and do not provide them with a right to make verdicts for the sake of Armenia, will refuse from their status of a judge. However, this didn’t happen, and I consider the judiciary’s current opportunity to deserve people’s trust already exhausted”, the PM said, adding that this situation can no longer be tolerated.
“We cannot tolerate this situation, because, as I said, this is a matter of the country’s stability, normal life and national security. This is also a matter of future economic development because unreliable judiciary is just an obstacle for improving the investment situation in the country.
Therefore, dear colleagues, it’s time to carry out surgical interventions in the judicial system”, he added.
On May 19 Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan called on citizens to block the courthouses across the country starting from May 20 early morning.
Edited and translated by Aneta Harutyunyan