YEREVAN, JULY 27. ARMINFO. A number of journalistic and public organizations of Armenia “are surprised” with resolution of the experts of CE Venice Commission on the package of constitutional reforms in Armenia. Representative of a public organization “Democracy” Vardan Poghosyan said at a seminar “Freedom of Speech and Constitutional Reforms.”
They are surprised with the circumstance that yet before July 7, before the elaborated package was submitted to the CE Venice Commission, public and journalistic organizations proposed to create several bodies regulating e-Mass Media and not a single body it was proposed in the package. They proposed the government to appoint these bodies. However, the above experts proposed to leave unchanged the point of creation of a singe body as well as that part of its participants is appointed by the president and second part by the parliament, on the example of the Constitutional Court of Armenia. The resolution of the experts does not propose inclusion of a point banning any censorship in the package of reforms. They expressed confidence that the proposals of CE experts do not provide strong guarantees of freedom of speech in the country and urge the Armenian Parliament either to accept the proposals of Armenian organizations interested or to elaborate proposals providing real freedom of speech, Poghosyan says. He thinks the package of constitutional reforms to be submitted for the second reading of the parliament an obvious but not enough process, as it still need elaboration.
In her turn, Chairwoman of the Parliamentary Permanent Commission for Science, Culture and Youth Affairs Hrahuysh Hakobyan opposed Poghosyan stating that already adopted laws on freedom of speech and on the activity of Mass Media were the major guarantees of freedom of speech in Armenia. As regards the aforementioned point in the package of constitutional reforms, she stated that just this body would secure freedom of speech in the country. “The concern of Yerevan Press Club and other organizations is clear, but one should make a broader sight on things and not to compare what is proposed to what was earlier. At last, the package of reforms has undergone 34 changes, and we shall made as many ones as it is necessary to achieve a compromise,” she said.