YEREVAN — Democracy is the key instrument for guaranteeing and preserving Armenia’s sovereignty and independence, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said today when speaking at the Armenian Democracy Forum.

He said the government’s task is to prove democracy’s ability to ensure the country’s foreign and domestic security.

“It is very important to shape and discuss the peace agenda in terms of citizen’s involvement in key decision-making. It is important that citizens receive full and proper information so that they are sufficiently informed when making decisions,” he said. The prime minister said that today it is important to unite and lead Armenia to peace.

“The continuation of our democratic mission is the peace mission, which is much more difficult and requires more effort and will,” he said.

He said according to a string of international reports, released in 2021, the Republic of Armenia has moved from electoral authoritarianism to electoral democracy and has moved into the top league of democracy.

“It is a most important change because it means that Armenia has moved from the 1st and 2nd league of democracy to the top league,” he added.

Pashinyan said democracy is Armenia’s main international brand. According to him, the main institution of democracy in Armenia is the citizen who is today the key guarantor of democracy.

The prime minister stressed that after the 44-day war in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone in 2020, Armenia went through great turmoil, and it were the citizens who prevented the destruction of statehood, loss of sovereignty and independence of the country.

“There are important questions we must answer: is democracy able to protect and preserve the security and sovereignty and independence of the country,” he said.

According to Pashinyan, one of the biggest challenges in Armenia today is the lack of reforms in the judicial system, because of which the country’s current authorities are criticized.

“We believe that this criticism is objective and fair, and we criticize ourselves. But, on the other hand, we know the problems that exist. We are determined to follow this path and we must be consistent,” he said.

The forum was attended by Armenian government officials, lawmakers, civic activists, Freedom House representative and Western diplomats.

 

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