YEREVAN (Armenpress)–An ad-hoc commission set-up to study and implement the Council of Europe’s recommendations for democratic reforms in Armenia convened at the Presidential Palace for its first session on Wednesday.
The President’s Press Office told Armenpress that the commission discussed a number of issues connected with the necessary preparations for the implementation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s (PACE) recommendations.
In a resolution adopted on April 17, PACE threatened to suspend the voting rights of its Armenian members unless the authorities allow an independent investigation into the post-election violent unrest in Yerevan that left at least ten people dead. It also demanded the "urgent release" of individuals arrested for their political activities and the scrapping of severe restrictions on freedom of assembly imposed after the March 1 violence.
The resolution stressed that these measures are necessary conditions for a dialogue between the Armenian government and the opposition as well as far-reaching political reforms, which it said, need to be implemented in the country. It warned that failure to take them would mean that "the credibility of Armenia as a member of the Council of Europe is put into doubt."
The Armenian authorities early last week accepted the Council of Europe’s recommendations to restore full civil liberties restricted in the wake of last February’s disputed presidential election.
PACE will be assessing Armenia’s performance in implementing its recommendations during its next session in June. According to the resolution, failure to comply with the Strasbourg-based organization’s recommendations will jeopardize Armenia’s full membership in PACE.