The Council of Europe believes that sweeping constitutional amendments promised by the Armenian authorities are vital for Armenia’s democratization and expects their approval at a referendum later this year, a senior official from Strasbourg said on Tuesday.
Those amendments would considerably curtail President Robert Kocharian’s sweeping powers to appoint and sack the government as well as judges at will. They would also make the mayor of Yerevan, home of at least one third of Armenia’s population, an elected official.
Under a memorandum signed with the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission in Strasbourg on Friday, the Kocharian administration has to incorporate those changes into its constitutional draft. The draft is due to be debated and finally approved by parliament in August before being put to a referendum this fall.
Based in London, we are an informal group dedicated to supporting democracy and human rights throughout
the former Soviet Union. Our aims are:
Informing the public about issues in this area that receive little coverage in the Western media.
Staging peaceful demonstrations and letter-writing campaigns in support of specific causes.
Supporting and publicising nonviolent pro-democracy groups throughout the region.
Encouraging European and American involvement.
Support the Belarusian cartoonists
Third Way, the Belarusian organisation whose members are being prosecuted for producing satirical cartoons about Lukashenka,
have set up a web page where you can make a donation via PayPal. The group urgently
need money for their legal defence and operating expenses. Please give what you can today! Read more
We are continuing to focus our efforts on the Belarusian prisoner of conscience Mikhail Marinich.
We are campaigning for him to receive proper medical treatment, to be permitted to see his family,
and ultimately to be released from prison pending a review of his case. You can help by distributing
our factsheets and letters.
Members of these groups have joined our blog to share their views and experiences.