STRASBOURG, France—Armenia’s Deputy Parliament Speaker Arpine Hovhannisyan was elected a vice-president of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe on Monday during the opening session of the legislative body.
Hovhannisyan is leading Armenia’s delegation to Strasbourg for the PACE Summer session.
Hovannisyan joins Valeriu Ghiletchi of Moldova as second new vice-president elected Monday. They join 18 others to form the 20-member vice-presidential roster of PACE.
Since last Fall, PACE has been plagued with a crisis in its leadership as its president, Pedro Agramunt, a pro-Azerbaijani member of the assembly is under investigation for corruption. PACE is also embroiled in another scandal that involves vote-buying by Azerbaijan, a practice that has become known as Baku’s “Caviar Diplomacy.”
In her acceptance speech, Hovhannisyan zeroed in on the problem and urged her fellow members to take collective responsibility and take steps to unearth corruption scandals that are hindering the work of the European body.
She expressed concern that the issue of mistrust towards corruption scandal surrounding PACE President Agramunt and the ensuing investigation are included in the agenda’s progress report.
“Now we are facing a situation where everyone can speak about a person who has zero confidence in this Assembly. Everyone can state that he has no dignity, everyone can assist that he is corrupt and is engaged in a number of actions which oppose PACE values,” said Hovhannisyan.