Edmon Marukyan, a member of the Armenian delegation to PACE wished Azerbaijan a velvet revolution “as soon as possible, for their own goodness."
Thousands of Armenians took to the streets across the country in April-May 2018 to demand the resignation of former authorities and the formation of a new government. Later dubbed "the velvet revolution," the peaceful disobedience campaign forced the then authorities to resign, while the National Assembly elected opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan as the country's new PM.
The Armenian lawmaker was addressing the assembly’s winter session on Monday, January 21 at the discussion on Armenia’s snap parliamentary elections, according to Panorama.am.
Marukyan’s comments came in response to some Azerbaijani delegates’ speeches on the elections and Armenia’s former authorities. He said Azerbaijani delegates should be the last ones to speak about “criminal regimes”.
“Right now, there are mass protests in Azerbaijan, with people demanding the release of political prisoners, whose rights and freedoms are restricted in the most disgraceful way. Azerbaijan does not follow judgments from the European Court of Human Rights on political prisoners but its delegates talk about the democratisation of Armenia, which is funny,” Marukyan was quoted as saying.
“There is no state of rest for democracy; it is either promoted or it regresses. I am very happy that democracy in Armenia is sustainably developing. Nevertheless, it is ridiculous to listen to allegations from Azerbaijan, a country with serious shortcomings in the fields of democracy and, more importantly, human rights and freedoms. I hope that everybody here understands that the aim of these provocative statements is to deviate from the general discussion of the agenda items of this plenary session, including the situation of political prisoners in Azerbaijan. In any case, on behalf of the Armenian delegation, I say that we are glad to see how closely our Azerbaijani colleagues follow democratic developments in Armenia. We hope that they will learn from us how democracy is done. I advise them to engage in their own democracy. I wish them a velvet revolution as soon as possible, for their own goodness,” Marukyan said.