Prosperous Armenia party MP Gevorg Petrosyan told reporters in parliament on October 30 that the Venice Commission had recognized the fact that “there is an element of political persecution in the situation around the Constitutional Court in Armenia.”
Gevorg Petrosyan, in particular, noted that the statement contained a sharp assessment. “We should try to understand the context here beecause there really was a rough assessment, which is not in the interests of Armenia’s reputation, obviously.”
Asked by the journalist what specific text he meant, Petrosyan said he was talking about the latest statement by Venice Commission made “yesterday or the day before yesterday.”
The Fact Investigation Platform has studied the statement of Venice Commission Chairman Gianni Buquicchio issued on October 29 to find out if there was anything mentioned about a political persecution.
In a statement titled “ARMENIA – All sides need to exercise restraint, mutual respect and constructive institutional co-operation – Statement by President Buquicchio”, Buquicchio referred to the situation around the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia.
He said that he has been closely following the situation in Armenia for several months now and he is deeply concerned over the “open conflict between the Government and Parliament on the one side and the Constitutional Court on the other side.”
According to him, the quick succession of recent events do not contribute to a serene settlement of the problems.
In particular, the statement of Buquicchio reads:
“In a democracy, parliament is the sovereignty of the popular depositary and thus enjoys the highest democratic legitimacy. The constitutional court is a safeguard institution, entrenched with upholding constitutional values. In a democratic country, all State institutions and office holders have to respect their own prerogatives, obligations and competences and to recognize and respect those of other institutions. They have to exercise proper institutional restraint, observe the relevant procedures in good faith and show respect for each other.
If this is not done, if there is a lack of democratic culture and maturity, the functioning of the state institutions is compromised and the democratic, civil and economic progress of society is jeopardized.
I call on all sides to exercise restraint, mutual respect and constructive institutional co-operation in order to de-escalate this worrying situation and re-establish the normal operation of the Armenian constitution.”-
It is clear from the cited text that the Chairperson of the Venice Commission did not use the term “political persecution” to describe the roles of the legislature and the Constitutional Court.
Thus, MP Gevorg Petrosyan’s statement that the Venice Commission has admitted that there is an element of political persecution in the situation around the Constitutional Court is false.