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Government meets in closed session to discuss draft decision on amnesty


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 A Cabinet meeting was held today, chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

Before proceeding to the agenda, the Prime Minister noted that later today the Government would meet in camera to discuss a draft decision on amnesty. “The draft will be discussed behind closed doors because the law provides that the National Assembly commission should review it in a closed session, and it seems to be illogical for the Government to hold an open discussion on the matter,” Nikol Pashinyan said.

The Cabinet approved the Government’s legislative initiative on amending the RA law On Holidays and Memorial Days. The initiative suggests that the government should be authorized to substitute or move the working days as needed in the case of simultaneous visits by four or more heads of State or government. The necessity of passing such a bill is conditioned by the 17th Francophone Summit in Armenia with participation of over 40 heads of State. Accordingly, with a view to ensuring effective transport traffic in Yerevan during the days of the summit, the working days of October 11-12 shall be moved to next Saturdays.

A number of proposals and recommendations were voiced during the exchange of views that followed. The Prime Minister deemed it necessary to clarify the provision in the most appropriate form and suggested rewording the relevant clause by substituting the clause “in case of simultaneous visits of four or more heads of State or government” with the following statement: “on exceptional events.”

The meeting next approved the Government’s legislative initiative on a set of amendments to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Armenia. The initiative seeks to toughen the measures aimed at enforcing public security. In particular, the draft envisages stricter sanctions for public calls to committing crimes envisaged in the relevant articles of the RA Criminal Code, or for advocating and justifying such offenses as may lead to real threats to public order.

As a result, public calls for terrorism, terrorism financing and international terrorism offenses will be criminalized in order to toughen the State’s policy in the fight against terrorism, and prevent such crimes in compliance with Armenia’s international commitments.

The Government adopted decisions to dismiss a number of marz governors: Ashot Simonyan (Aragatsotn Marz), Hrant Margaryan (Lori Marz), Aragats Saghatelyan (Vayots Dzor Marz), Gagik Mirijanyan (Armavir Marz), Ishkhan Saghatelyan (Gegharkunik Marz), and Karen Hambardzumyan (Syunik Marz).

Nikol Pashinyan noted that the above decisions were due to the recent political developments: “The latest political events unfolded in public, before everyone’s eyes. A number of ministers have also been dismissed. I want to thank the former ministers for cooperation and joint work. Those decisions were made due to the well-known political events; therefore I wish every success to our colleagues,” the Premier said.

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