Former MP from the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) Mihran Hakobyan, who is also the co-founder of Quartet Media CJSC, made a post on his Facebook page on December 11 stating that according to a recent survey conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI), “the Constitutional Court is the one law enforcement body that enjoys the highest confidence of the public among all.”
The latest IRI poll was released on December 9, 2019. It has been implemented throughout Armenia from September 20 to October 13, 2019.
One of the questions concerns the state bodies of Armenia (page 26). One of the questions asked was what the participants think about the activity of certain state bodies. Respondents expressed a positive or negative opinion.
Inaccuracies in Hakobyan’s post
There are two inaccuracies in Mihran Hakobyan’s statement. First, the Constitutional Court (C C) is not a law enforcement body but a judicial authority. The law enforcement agencies in Armenia are the Police, Investigative Committee, Prosecutor General’s Office, Special Investigation Service, National Security Service and others.
Hakobyan also insists that “the Constitutional Court is more trustworthy for the public than the prosecutor’s office – the prosecutorial system and the courts.” He notes that if 40% of the respondents have a positive opinion about the Constitutional Court, the 38% have positive opinion about the Prosecutor’s Office and 36% about the Courts. These claims are true.
Based on these figures, Hakobyan claims that he thus “crushes the baseless ‘justification’ made by the authorities and personally by Nikol Pashinyan that the current staff of the Constitutional Court must resign as it does not enjoy the confidence of the people. This survey proves just the opposite: the Constitutional Court enjoys the confidence of the people.”
Although there are more positive opinions about the Constitutional Court (CC) than about the prosecutor’s office and the courts, the CC rating, according to the same IRI, is one of the lowest among state institutions.
Negative opinions about the Constitutional Court make up 51%, while the positive ones make up only 40%. Mihran Hakobyan does not mention this information. It is not clear how, given this, it can be argued that “the Constitutional Court enjoys the confidence of the people.”
It is noteworthy that from the law enforcement agencies only the Prosecutor General’s Office is included in the survey cited by Hakobyan. There is no data in the survey about either the NSS, or the police, or any other law enforcement agency. And in this case the comparison is not appropriate.
Hakobyan’s mistakes on Tert.am
Moreover, there are similar incorrect wordings in the publication of Tert.am website owned by Mihran Hakobyan and co-founded by Quartet Media CJSC.
Tert.am has published an interview with former Human Rights Defender Larisa Alaverdyan. The title of the interview is misleading.
At the very beginning of the article it is clarified that it is about “a law enforcement body that enjoys the highest confidence of the people among all” which, as we have already mentioned, is a misconception. The CC is not a law enforcement body, and only one of the law enforcement bodies is included in the list.