ELDR Council Meeting
Gan Carol Weaver
Members of the LDEG executive including George Dunk, Carol Weaver and Jonathan Fryer took part in the ELDR Party Council meeting in Yerevan last weekend soon after Armenia's parliamentary elections. LDEG chair Phil Bennion MEP also spoke at a fringe event on 'Making Liberal Climate and Resource Policies Work'.
The hosts were ELDR member the Armenian National Movement party (ANM) led by Mr Aram Manukyan who spoke of widespread abuses in the elections including the now famous 'disappearing ink' stamps on passports allowing some voters to participate more than once. Despite the ANC bloc, which includes the ANM, winning more than 7% of the votes, the President's party increased its power in difficult times. ELDR leader Sir Graham Watson MEP told the press that Armenians are perfectly capable of running a fully democratic society but a lot still needs to be done.
Jonathan Fryer and Carol Weaver also joined a Liberal International (LI) fact-finding visit to Georgia prior to the ELDR gathering. This was hosted by ELDR members the opposition Republican Party led by Mr David Usupashvili who discussed concerns regarding the upcoming Georgian parliamentary elections in October. The LI group also met with opposition 'Georgian Dream' party leader Mr Ivanishvili. The Georgian government arranged visits to the 'line of occupation' after the 2008 war and to various institutions showing how anti-corruption measures are being implemented, although these are sometimes at the expense of 'zero-tolerance' and overcrowded prisons.
One of the resolutions adopted in Yerevan ahead of the EU Cypriot Presidency was on the reunification of Cyprus. For more details see: http://www.eldr.eu/en/news/2012/05/eldr-council-meeting-in-yerevan