YEREVAN.- Armenian Heritage Party issued a statement on Friday on European People’s Party observer status and political corruption in Armenia.
“The Heritage Party is pleased to have been granted observer membership in the European People’s Party by decision of its Political Assembly meeting in Brussels.
Heritage has been an ideological carrier of EPP values from its inception, and to date has taken consistent part in the activities of the EPP group at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Euronest, OSCE and elsewhere.
We are encouraged by the opportunities afforded us by the achievement of observer status, which also is shared by the ruling Republican Party and its coalition partner the Country of Laws Party.
At the same time we are deeply concerned, on this eve of parliamentary and presidential elections in our country, by the unprecedented level of political corruption prevalent here.
In addition to the flagrant examples of conflicts of interest between public duty and partisan gain as outlined in Heritage chairman Raffi K. Hovannisian’s good-faith letter dated 21 November 2011, to Republican Party chairman and incumbent president Serzh Sargsyan, together with his unresponsive outburst in reaction thereto, the National Assembly—in which all three EPP observer members are represented—continues to offer haven to electoral theft and political forgery.
One recurrent episode took place on the very day EPP observer status was conferred and the three parties acceded to a common declaration of intentions and principles. In keeping with a long tradition of voting fraud both at the polls and in parliament, various individuals representing the EPP-observing coalition, with the conscious assent and attempted cover-up of the legislature’s leadership (again observer party members), were complicit in the commission of outright falsification, that is, the unlawful casting of votes in the place of absent colleagues and in plain view of fellow MPs, journalists, and the public. On this occasion, the foregoing was done for the parliamentary majority’s illegitimate securing first of a quorum and then of their desired outcomes on several measures of substance.
In the event of even one further instance of this criminal conduct—in the National Assembly, at the Presidency, or during the upcoming elections—the Heritage Party will be unable to reconcile, whether politically, ethically or otherwise, its participation in the great family of European parties known as EPP with the presence of those responsible for such anti-democratic, anti-Armenian, and anti-European demeanor.
In this connection, but as a matter to be treated separately, we cannot but express our consternation upon the Armenian prime minister’s recent public endorsement of a serving foreign official’s candidacy for his country’s presidency.
At this critical juncture, we are at once extremely proud of our EPP belonging and extremely troubled - for Armenia and for all Europe - by the endless divide between the words and deeds of the Republic’s de facto rulers.
And we so very much regret that this statement has become necessary.”