Notes From Hairenik
April 5, 2006
In an unexpected turn of events, it seems that logic beat out Armenian logic when the speaker of parliament, Artur Bagdasaryan, announced that Channel 1 will continue to broadcast sessions of parliament despite a bid from the station's management to stop doing so. Armenia Liberty reports that:

In a separate development, speaker Baghdasarian announced that leaders of the Armenian parliament’s pro-Kocharian majority have decided to reject state television’s calls for an end to the prime-time broadcasts of some of the parliament sessions regularly featuring opposition attacks on the government. The chairman of the Kocharian-controlled Armenian Public Television and Radio, Aleksan Harutiunian, said recently that legal provisions mandating those broadcasts counter to European standards for press freedom.

But according to Baghdasarian, the parliament majority thinks otherwise. “Considering that this is a pre-election year and that various kinds of speculations, whether justified or unjustified, could be made, we unanimously decided to keep things unchanged,” the speaker told a news conference.

This is good news. People need to be informed about what issues lawmakers are deliberating on. They need continue to see, not hear about or read, what is actually going on when parliament is in session. And then next year just before the parliamentary elections they can decide with confidence who to vote for and why. Here's hoping that their elections will be free and fair.