- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
 February 14, 2003 

Decision 2003: Voters want answers on judicial problems

After social conditions and unemployment, potential voters in a ProMedia survey named problems with the judicial system as being among their top concerns. Protection by the law, administered through its courts, is a right many citizens say they are not sure of but would like to be.

Lusine, who has a lawyer's degree, is working as a hairdresser in a Yerevan beauty salon.

"I will return to the judicial structure when improvements in the judicial system will become obvious and laws will start functioning for people and not against them," she says.

Like many others 75 year old pensioner Suren Shljyan demands judicial protection and power of law from the future President: "The fact that laws don't function, I can feel it at every step. People must feel safe in this country," says the former doctor.

Gayane Amiryan, who is unemployed, has concerns about the relation between citizens and police: "Any relation with police creates the feeling of horror. But police must protect and not do the opposite. I don't even talk about corruption, which reaches terrible sizes."

"Why isn't everybody equal in the face of law" asks pensioner Julietta Sargsyan.

Artashes Mkhitaryan asks candidates a question on preservation of the judicial principles: "How and what principles will the new President, who is a guarantor of the constitution's inviolability, be guided with?"

Many people are concerned with the large number of unresolved crimes and an atmosphere of lawlessness for some. And many still have questions concerning the Parliament assassinations trial.

Pensioner Victoria Sargsyan complains about illegal activities of the Prosecutor's Office. Her son has been in Nubarashen prison for 16 months as a result of a groundless accusation.

"The case has passed three judicial instances and it's mentioned there, 'there aren't enough grounds for sentencing Koryun Sargsyan'. However they continue to keep him under arrest," she says.

During President Robert Kocharyan's campaign visit to Nork, Victoria Sargsyan got a letter to the President and is hopeful he'll read it and "stop the illegality".

Respondent Anna Baghramyan has a unique question for the future president:

"If we are a member of the European family why can't we conduct a poll among citizens of Armenia living abroad so that they could pay alimony? When we apply to the embassies they reply that they haven't got appropriate civil contracts. Why? Doesn't it mean that we are on unequal conditions with other countries?"

Many citizens, especially parents, are concerned about conditions in the Armenian Army.

Susan Gharibyan, a doctor, is concerned with the psychological atmosphere reigning in the army: "Many young people, who have just returned from the army, apply to me. Many of them are in stress-inducing condition. It is one of the most important problems that deserves attention."


Voter questions, candidate answers

Full story


Who will help the pensioners?

Full story


Who will stop the corruption?

Full story


  Photo of the week
  Photo of the week: Tamper resistant?
Click on the photo above to enlarge

Tamper resistant?

Journalists flocked to Zvartnots Airport Tuesday to greet the arrival of plastic boxes, heralded by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe as Armenia's first step toward "transparent" elections. The 2,000 boxes - at a cost of about $4 each - were financed by the US, Swiss, German and Norwegian governments. Newspaperman Tigran Liloyan gave one ballot bucket a test run.



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