Council of Europe Pushes Minorities into Armenian Parliament
September 23, 2009 1 Comment
Armenian parliament is to provide seats for minorities including Kurds, Russians, Yezdis, gays, women-drivers and idiots. The bill was prompted by special representative of European Council Silvia Zehe who reminded Armenian legislators of their commitments to Europe.
“If Armenia truly wants to be a part of Europe, you need to get your Parliament to represent all social groups of the society. The traffic signs and so-called zebras, for one thing, are not arranged in a cute, sparkly manner obviously due to under-representation of women drivers,” stated Zehe.
Political parties appeared upset over possible shuffling for room. Head of Republicans Sahak Galustyan said: “I’m not sure parliament is the right place for women-drivers, not to mention idiots. Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against idiots on personal level. In fact, I don’t think they are silly at all. But involving this minority in parliament.. it’s just too weird, you know.”
As expected, most heated debate was focused on the disputed need to include idiots into the National Assembly. Representatives of intelligentsia and most of factions expressed concern over this. Head of the Heritage party Stepan Safaryan summarized the position: “With all respect to Europe, we believe involvement of idiots in legislative work may significantly drop overall efficiency of the parliament.”
The issue was countered by head of OSCE Mission in Armenia Sergey Kapinos who explained why this group is vital for parliament. In a briefing with press, Kapinos said: “Parliament is a place where the whole society is supposed to be represented. And according to recent World Bank research, past decades’ brain-drain resulted in the biggest percentage of intellectually challenged individuals per capita compared to other CIS countries.” Ambassador shared success stories from neighboring Georgia. “After the minority was allowed in the parliament, they shortly took over the power in Georgia. Currently we see a tendency of better representation of this layer in Parliament here as well, but it is still too low,” added Kapinos.
Some of the extra-parliamentary forces made hurried attempts of taking advantage of the European demand. Leader of People’s Party Tigran Karapetyan told journalists: “Europe is only awaking, while our party has been ringing the bell for 8 years now. They (authorities) naively try to fool Europe by pretending intellectually challenged before cameras in press conference. European are not idiots, they realize that the real potential lies with me and my party and we are ready to present their interests.”
On the counter side, thousands of right-wing intellectuals protested against possible inclusion of mandatory seats for idiots in downtown Yerevan. “Latent intellectually challenged minorities are actually over-represented in parliament. They simply lack political will to admin so. What we really need is more nerds in legislation,” said one of the students while black-clothed bullies approached to silence the dissident.
And finally Kaka Khachapooridze, Georgian Ambassador to Armenia came up with a suggestion to include several Georgians in Armenian Parliament as well. “His Excellency finds that presence of Georgians in National Assembly will considerably cheer up the overall atmosphere in the Parliament.