Armenian opposition boycotts parliamentary commission to investigate 2020 war circumstances
Сommission to investigate 2020 Karabakh war
A commission has been created in the parliament of Armenia to investigate the circumstances of the 44-day war in 2020 in Karabakh. 11 members of the parliamentary commission on defense and security are expected to take part in its work. Of these, seven, including the head of the commission, are representatives of the ruling Civil Contract faction.
The two opposition parties represented in the National Assembly have already issued a joint statement and refused to participate in the work of the commission set up by the authorities.
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The Commission will have access to classified documents
After the second Karabakh war, the creation of an investigative commission was repeatedly discussed. However, the final decision was made almost a year and a half after the end of hostilities. Prior to this, the authorities stated that the creation of such a commission would be politicized.
Members of the committee on defense and security, most of whom are representatives of the ruling faction, are declared to be its backbone. The opposition “Hayastan” (Armenia) faction is represented in it by three people, “I have the honor” – by one deputy. However, the oppositionists, as it became known on February 11, will not participate in the investigation, which will be conducted by the parliamentary commission.
Meanwhile, representatives of extra-parliamentary forces will take part in the work of the commission and their status in it will be determined at the first committee meeting, which will also set up the regulations for its work.
It is announced that the commission will investigate all the circumstances of the war – from the beginning of hostilities, the details of how they went, the productivity of intelligence work to the reasons for the defeat.
Members of the commission will have access to secret documents and any confidential information. They will be able to request and receive information from all officials, anyone who can give any information. Moreover, officials will be required to appear and give evidence to the commission, the presence of other invitees is desirable, but they will have the right to refuse.
Refusal to participate in “staging the innocence of the authorities”
The “I have the honor” faction initially announced that it would not participate in the work of the commission of inquiry. Another opposition force, the Hayastan faction, apparently initially considered this possibility.
The final decision of the oppositionists became known the day after the creation of the commission when both factions issued a joint statement. Their position is that a committee cannot be impartial if the vast majority of its members are members of the ruling party.
The opposition believes the commission will do everything not to reveal the true circumstances, at the same time, it will make efforts to justify Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his team, shifting all the blame on the “former” leaderships (the current leaders of both opposition factions are the former presidents of Armenia – Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan).
“The authorities cannot objectively investigate their own actions. The proof of this impossibility is the fact that law enforcement agencies, which follow its direct instructions and are part of the executive branch, take a unified position”, the statement says.
The oppositionists announced that the investigative commission would eventually be engaged in “establishing the innocence of the authorities”.
“The authorities will try to remove the issue of responsibility from the upper echelons of power, they will try to shift it to the armed forces, its individual links, to everyone, except for representatives of the political elite”, said opposition MP Tigran Abrahamyan.
Meanwhile, representatives of both opposition factions claim that a real investigation and identification of those responsible for the results of the 44-day war remains a priority for them.
The ruling power regarded the opposition’s approach as sabotage, once again assuring that it has the political will to reveal the truth, even if questions arise that affect the political leadership of the country.
This is not the first attempt by the Armenian government to create a commission of inquiry to investigate the circumstances of the hostilities. A commission was also created in parliament to study the circumstances of the so-called “April war” in 2016.
In the course of its work, it was said more than once that after the end of the investigation, sensational revelations would be published. However, so far society has not received information about the results of its work, the conclusion of the commission has not been published.
According to political scientist Tevan Poghosyan, the work of the commission will be very important, if only because the facts will be collected, there is simply a problem of trust in itself:
“Another question is how they will use these materials. Will the commission really follow the path of revealing the truth, or will it become a politicized institution?”
The political scientist himself has many questions for the authorities. In particular, he wonders why the commission has only been formed now, even though the government has been talking about it since July last year.
Tevan Poghosyan hopes that doubts about the objectivity of the commission will be dispelled during its work. However, he emphasizes that it will work amid the power crisis that has not been overcome in the country. And this is confirmed by the fact that laws in parliament are adopted with the approval of only one political force.
The political scientist does not rule out that this commission may become an instrument in the hands of the government for solving political problems.