France, Strasburg, 14 April / Trend corr A. Maharramli, I. Alizade/ The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) should hold independent investigations in Armenia regarding the riots which emerged from the presidential election in the country which involved the shooting and killing of people participating in the opposition demonstrations. "The Armenian authorities should hold independent investigations with the participation of the opposition representatives. If Armenia does not carry out the investigation, PACE will inevitably do that," Nemeth Zsolt, the Hungarian member of the Christian-Democratic Party of Europe, said at the PACE spring session.
On 19 February, Armenia held its presidential elections. According to the final results of the Armenian Central Election Commission, Serzh Sargsyan, the head of the Republican Party, won the elections with 52.82% of votes (862,369).
On the morning of 2 March, President Robert Kocheryan decreed on proclaiming an emergency situation in Armenia for 20 days which was caused by the continuous demonstrations by supporters of the presidential candidate Levon Ter-Petrosyan, who accused the authorities of gerrymandering during the elections. The dispersal of the demonstration by the police resulted in a confrontation. According to the Armenian Health Ministry, the number of the victims of the riot which took place in Yerevan on 1 March totalled thousands with 9 dead from gunshot wounds.
Zsolt said that after the presidential elections, the peaceful demonstrators were shot and 9 people died, 200 were arrested as political prisoners. After that emergency situation was announced in the country.
"The worst thing is that the Armenian authorities passed the Law on Freedom of Assembly without applying for the opinion of the CE Venice Commission. Now, the Armenian opposition urges for repeated presidential elections to be held and does not recognize the legitimacy of the current head of State. The actions should be taken at a political level," Zsolt said.
"The Christian Democratic Party of Europe believes that CE should drastically change the election supervision system. The recent elections in Armenia confirmed the necessity of changing and the re-consideration of the CE election supervision system," he said.
The correspondent can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org