Nikol Pashinyan: “Establishing legality in Armenia is a top priority for all of us”
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended the opening of the RA Police Collegium session, which discussed issues related to the operative activities carried out in the first half of 2018. In his speech, the Prime Minister touched upon the problems facing the system and the possibilities for their solution.
“This meeting is a good opportunity to discuss the results of the first half-year of 2018, including the plans for the future, as well as the peculiarities of police activities in the current situation.
It seems to be obvious that what happened in Armenia - I mean the political changes – represented a serious change in situation for all of us and for the public at large, including the government agencies and the authorities. The current system of governance features, to put it conventionally, long-standing and newly appointed officials, who have gone different ways in terms of their political or professional career, and it is clear that we will inevitably have to usher in an adaptation period, which can take some time. The larger the State agency, the harder and longer the process is, but I hope that one of the formal records of today’s discussion will be that we have already completed the process of adaptation in the new situation, and stand ready for full-swing work,” Nikol Pashinyan said.
Nikol Pashinyan emphasized that the political messages sent on the very first day of his premiership had remained the same.
“I think Mr. Osipyan will confirm that the spirit and content of our discussion have not changed at all ever since. It is crucial for us to record the activities carried out by the police as a body subordinate to the Prime Minister. Establishing legality in Armenia is a top priority for all of us, and the police force is one of the most important links in the system of law enforcement in Armenia. Here, we must clearly understand that the Police must act as the pioneer in the fight against crime. As a result, we should clearly state the significant and visible change in the criminal situation in Armenia, for which we must be convinced that the police leadership clearly realize what they are doing and are ready to implement that function professionally,” the Prime Minister pointed out.
The next important task that Nikol Pashinyan set before the Police is the fight against organized crime and, in this context, corruption and other adverse phenomena and abuses.
“It is my pleasure to state that in recent days I kept getting information that gives grounds to say that the efficiency of police activity starts to make significant changes in this direction, which, frankly, is a joy to me. I repeat once again that it should not be question of the so-called “witch hunt,” I think all of us understand that there cannot even be political persecution, new political prisoners in Armenia, suspicious criminal cases, and personal motives behind prosecution. Personal motivations may come not only from the country’s highest official, but theoretically from the police chief, the head of the regional department and so on. We must rule out this type of activity in general and bring the police activities into conformity with the RA legislation,” the head of the government said, adding that there are two parallel realities in Armenia: the reality described in the Constitution and laws, and a reality outside the constitution and the laws.
“Our task is to identify these two realities, that is, to bring the reality into line with those set out in the Armenian legislation. Of course, we know that sometimes the quality of the legislation is that identification cannot be fully realized because of poor quality laws, but as long as they act as law, they are laws, and if all of us come to the conclusion that they are bad laws, then we have to work to improve them,” Nikol Pashinyan noted.
The next issue raised by the Prime Minister referred to the maintenance of public order and security. The Head of Government underscored that in this sense there are no big problems and should not be because the corresponding atmosphere has been established after the popular non-violent changes in Armenia.
“The police also faces the task of maintaining the atmosphere of love and solidarity, which does not mean that the police should be soft at any offense because offenders are the number one enemy of the atmosphere of love and solidarity - the privilege status of anybody is degraded by the atmosphere of love and affection.
Unfortunately, I have received signals that yes, people can often notice that for example, the traffic police practice has changed dramatically, but in some cases, I get an alarm that sometimes traffic police are so vulnerable to offenders, that it causes dissatisfaction among citizens.
Unfortunately, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the establishment of independence in Armenia, the words democracy and rarity have often been in the public consciousness. But I would like to say that the strongest legal requirements and the strictest requirements for the law are put into democratic societies. In other words, a democratic society is based on the rule of law, rule of law. And if we do not take too strict approaches to offenses, it is the first antitrust of democracy. On the other hand, we must address this issue with the protection of human rights and act within certain restrictions,” Nikol Pashinyan said.
Referring again to the adaptation period, the Prime Minister noted that there will inevitably be such people as may leave it behind, that is, they will adapt to the new conditions, will be inspired by the opportunities that have been opened.
“Certainly many possibilities have been closed and must be closed. But in this period everyone should have a chance to succeed in this region, unless there are so many serious reasons that exclude this opportunity.
There can be no steps that are alien to the ideology of political change in Armenia or the changes that have occurred in favor of a group of citizens and against a group. There is no such ideology in our actions, there has been, and if it were, I think these changes would not take place. This is the most important issue.
Our goal is to mobilize the best potential available in our society and make public life more inclusive, so that we can truly make our country a new power of development, give new impetus, new enthusiasm, and new energy. The police should get its share of the energy generated in Armenia. Throughout this process, we tried to remove the so-called conventional barricades from the very first day and think that our today's conversation is proof that these barricades are destroyed. I am urging you to make sure that every police officer enjoys that opportunity and no one is deprived of this opportunity, and the use of this opportunity implies unobtrusive service to the law, the right and the law,” the Premier said, considering it necessary to discuss the efficiency of the whole State system.
“Certain structural changes are likely to occur, and their purpose will be to find the most effective solutions to the problems voiced here. During that time, the mindset of dividing between “ours and yours” should be ruled out. The main purpose of changes was to eliminate the dividing lines in Armenia. The political divide has been eliminated in Armenia, and now we need to build on it,” Nikol Pashinyan said, adding that by making political changes, everything has been done to ensure the stability of the police system.
“We and specifically I did not make any such decision, even though it was within my authority, as might undermine the system’s stability. We have even been criticized for failure to take action by those who believed that it stemmed from the logic of our revolution.
On the contrary, we have done everything to keep the stability of the system so that the police system might feel as victorious as the citizens of Armenia, all Armenians at home and abroad. Within the framework of our functions, each of us should have a single problem, namely to make every subsequent day more effective, more legitimate, so that the public service could be more and more devoted to the statehood and the people of Armenia. I wish all of us good luck in this service,’ Nikol Pashinyan concluded.
Chief of Police Valeri Osipyan thanked the Prime Minister for attending the session, for valuable observations and remarks, and went on to assure that the police would do everything to make the fight against crime more effective and ensure the public order. “The police will live up to the proposed task; we feel high-spirited and will stand by you fearlessly,” Valeri Osipyan said.