“I am confident that the police will be able to ensure the right of citizens to free elections” - PM congratulates police officers on their professional holiday
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan attended the Police Board meeting held on the occasion of Police Day. Prior to the meeting, the Premier laid flowers at a memorial plaque installed in the courtyard of Police Headquarters, paying tribute to those police officers who fell for the sake of our homeland.
The Prime Minister addressed the event with opening remarks, in which he stated:
“Distinguished Chief of Police of the Republic of Armenia,
Dear Police Board members,
Dear heads and deputy heads of subdivisions,
Dear police officers and police troops,
As we paid tribute to the memory of our fallen brothers, let me once again congratulate all of us on Police Day and thank you for your service.
First of all, I would like to emphasize that the Police of the Republic of Armenia have been working, to put it mildly, in an overloaded regime for more than a year. First, we faced the challenges caused by the global pandemic, which began to spread in the Republic of Armenia over a year ago, creating new problems for the State and the Police. Police Force was the main operating institution involved in ensuring compliance with anti-epidemic rules. This has indeed become an additional burden to your daily activities. In fact, the police had never before dealt with situations like that.
Then the 44-day war broke out, in which police officers, members of the police force took direct and active part. They excelled with heroic deeds, and unfortunately, many officers died for the sake of our homeland. Dozens of police officers were severely wounded and disabled.
After 44 days of war, internal political sentiments flared up. In this connection, I would like to note with satisfaction that perhaps, we boasted an unprecedented phenomenon in history, when, despite the calls for murders, shootings and executions that have been heard for several months now, we were able to handle the domestic situation without violence.
At the same time, I wish to emphasize that the forces calling for violence had no opportunity to use violence, except for the events that took place on the night of November 9 to 10, when a huge part of our police and law enforcement officers were on the front line as they exercised their sacred duty defending the borders of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh.
I consider it a landmark achievement for our law enforcement system, including the police, that society was prevented from getting into an atmosphere of hatred and enmity, instead we actually consolidated the people of the Republic of Armenia, the people of Artsakh, the entire nation around the Armenian statehood, legality and the legal system.
Yet, there is still much to do in this regard. Early parliamentary elections are coming up, and I hope and am confident that Armenia’s law enforcement agencies, including the police, will be able to enforce law and order, legality in the country, and the right of our citizens to free elections.
I would like to state once again that during this period, starting from 2018, in all my contacts with law enforcement authorities, including the police, both behind closed doors and publicly, I have set the following task: to ensure a legitimate electoral process, to provide all necessary conditions for the free expression of the will of citizens of the Republic of Armenia, to rule out any possibility of fraud and bribery in elections and any possibility of illegal influence on the will of voters. And I am convinced that together we will be able to solve this task.
I want to thank you again for your service. I would like to once again express my condolences to all the police officers and the families of the officers who died for their homeland, and also emphasize that we are bound by duty to build a truly powerful and just statehood based on the rule of law.
We just talked about the police officers who fell during the war, but I also wish to pay homage to those officers who fell fighting crime, because they too gave their lives for their homeland, for the nation, for the sake of law and order. I extend my condolences to those officers who were killed, words of support and sympathy to all disabled police officers.
The Republic of Armenia and the Police are doing and will do everything to support our colleagues and their families. I wish to thank you all once again for the services rendered to the Republic of Armenia, for your work aimed at protecting the rule of law, and the observance of public order, Mr. Ghazaryan, under your leadership.
Be assured that your work is worthy and deserving of high praise. Let me underscore that the setting is that your work is being commended not only by the state, but by the public at large.
I consider it extremely important to state that we still cannot assess what happened during all this time in terms of decision-making and overall performance, because we are still going through this process, but you may rest assured that the assessment will be high, since as I noted above, it may turn out that there was no precedent for a country in such a difficult situation, caught up in the trap of profound dividing lines, to address internal confrontations without any manifestations of social hatred. Instead, real preconditions have been created for uniting society and defying the challenges facing our state.
However, it certainly does not mean that we or others should forget that the police and the law enforcement agencies have the legal right to use force in all cases when groups or individuals intend to break the law, trespass the red lines that no one should cross.
In conclusion, let me thank you once again and wish you all every success in enforcing the rule of law, lawfulness and public safety in the Republic of Armenia.”
During the meeting, a report was presented on the results of the work done by the Police in 2020 and the measures aimed at ensuring the rule of law in the country.