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AFP
May 21, 2019

Armenian PM announces clean-up of judiciary

World

AFP
May 21, 2019

YEREVAN: Armenian premier Nikol Pashinyan on Monday announced sweeping judiciary reforms as protesters blockaded court buildings in Yerevan, heeding his call for a demonstration against judges he accuses of political bias.

"Courts are remnants of the former corrupt authorities. People have no trust in the judiciary and therefore it lacks legitimacy," Pashinyan told a televised cabinet meeting. "The time has come for a surgical intervention" with all judges subjected to a thorough vetting during a "transitional" period, he said.

He said judges who "believe they cannot be just" and those whose rulings were found unfair by the European Court of Human Rights should resign. "If necessary, we will adopt constitutional amendments. All this will be done in conformity with international law," he said, asking for support from Western partners.

Pashinyan’s appeal for mass demonstrations followed a court ruling to release from pre-trial detention former president Robert Kocharyan charged with staging a "coup" a decade ago. The symbolic protest came as Pashinyan tries to consolidate power in the ex-Soviet country a year after leading a popular revolt against former president Serzh Sarkisian and corrupt elites.

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