April 26
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YEREVAN. – If there is consensus among Armenia’s political forces about the change to the Electoral Code, the Venice Commission will not obstruct the sustainable development process of the country.

Such a statement was disseminated Friday after the meeting between acting First Deputy Prime Minister Ararat Mirzoyan of the Republic of Armenia (RA), and President Gianni Buquicchio of the Venice Commission, Zhoghovurd (People) newspaper reported.

“Certainly, we can consider this statement the small victory of the [incumbent Armenian] authorities. But the reality is that the tradition of the Venice Commission’s activities is being broken, and the commission, nonetheless, will not give its conclusion [with respect to the proposed amendments to Armenia’s election law].

“Let’s add that European Union [(EU)] Ambassador to RA Piotr Świtalski also had made a similar statement yesterday: ‘The whole volume of assistance coming to Armenia from outside will be solely European assistance; that is, the European Union and the three member states will assist.’

“On that very day—before his interview, there was a meeting with [Armenia’s] NA [National Assembly] Vice President [and former ruling party member] Arpine Hovhannisyan. But the meeting did not go very smoothly, and that is attested to by NA vice president’s angry look after the meeting, and Świtalski’s statement to support the current [Armenian] authorities,” Zhoghovurd wrote.

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