June 16, 2023
Hovsep Khurshudyan’s response to the YPC complaint

To the:
Members of the EaP CSF Compliance Committee
Seda Shiganyan, representative of the Yerevan press club, EaP CSF delegate
Ana Otilia Nutu, EaP CSF Steering Committee Co-Chair
Irina Sukhy, EaP CSF Steering Committee Co-Chair
Ana Furtuna, Director of the EaP CSF Secretariat
Members of the Council of the “EaP CSF ANP Secretariat” NGO

Dear Colleagues,

On June 14, a letter signed by Seda Shiganyan (representative of Yerevan Press Club, a delegate organization from Armenia) dated June 12, was disseminated by Mr. Ashot Melikyan, a member of the EaP CSF Compliance Committee in the ANP Google group. It became clear from the letter (interestingly referring to Seda Shiganyan in the third person singular in the body text) that it had also been sent to several EaP CSF bodies, including the Compliance Committee, the Director of the Secretariat, the Co-Chairs of the Steering Committee, Mikayel Hovhannisyan, Coordinator of WG1 and Boris Navassardyan, President of Yerevan Press Club. I was not included in this communication.

In this e-mail on behalf of Seda Shiganyan allegations are made about the alleged procedural violations having taken place during the voting at the ANP/Delegates’ Assembly held on 9 June 2023. In particular, it is claimed that Yerevan Press Club had suspended its ANP membership in connection with alleged earlier procedural violations connected with the elections of the National Facilitator back in May 2022. And that in such a situation Seda Shiganyan was not properly notified and was not aware that she had the right to vote on the issue of the removal of the National Facilitator on 9 June. These allegations are false from A to Z based on the justifications provided below.

Seda Shiganyan, whose e-mail is in the Google-mail group of the EAP CSF ANP, was duly notified about the agenda as were the other delegates and members of the Forum from Armenia about the June 9 ANP/Delegates’ Assembly as well as received the lists of the 42 Armenian members of the CSF ANP and 18 delegates of the EaP CSF from Armenia who had the right to vote during the Assembly on the issue of the National Facilitator’s removal. The letter signed by 14 organizations initiating the process of removal of the National Facilitator, sent via the ANP Google group (the usual channel of electronic communication in the ANP), was addressed among others to the Delegates. The list of the current delegates was sent to me by the Forum Secretariat in response to my official request.

According to the EaP CSF regulations, including the EaP CSF Statute and the Statute of the ANP, suspension of status is only envisaged for delegates, whereas no suspension is envisaged for EaP CSF members. The statute of ANP does not envisage suspension of status for ANP members who are non-members of the Forum either. Therefore, no suspension of status is possible for these two categories but only termination. But even if the YPC would terminate its membership in the ANP, it would not lose its status as a CSF delegate until it officially informed the EaP CSF Secretariat.

Yerevan Press Club has not addressed any letter to either AND or the EaP CSF Secretariat, requesting suspension of its status as a Delegate. Moreover, Seda Shiganyan confirmed her status as a delegate by participating in the EaP CSF 2022 Annual Assembly in Prague.

It is understood from Ms. Shiganyan’s letter that she does not deny that she was notified about the ANP conference/delegates’ assembly, nor does she deny that she is a delegate. The only thing that she is saying is that she was not notified of her rights. The likelihood of the veracity of the claim that she, remaining a delegate, assumed that she could not vote on the issue within the competence of the delegates is near to impossible considering the fact that this is an organization that stands at the origins of the foundation of the EaP CSF. Besides, a lack of knowledge of the relevant regulations by a delegate does not entitle his/her representative to retroactively affect the results of past voting. This situation is very different from the situation of electronic voting during the election of the National Facilitator in 2022 and the drawing parallels is absolutely irrelevant.

It is worth mentioning that despite receiving the invitation to the ANP conference/delegates assembly, Ms. Shiganyan did not approach me to clarify whether she, as a YPC delegate, has voting rights. Once again this attitude indicates that she initially showed a lack of concern regarding their organization’s participation. The demand brought by the 14 organizations, some of their delegates, with Ashot Melikyan, a member of the Forum’s Compliance Committee, and Mikayel Hovhannisyan, Coordinator of WG1 was discussed extensively (from 11.00 am to 22.00 pm) at the 25th May and then at the 9th June offline Assemblies and did not get the support of the majority of the delegates. Both Mikayel Hovhannisyan and Ashot Melikyan were present at the pronouncement of the results of the vote and did not declare any objections to them. The issue has been exhausted. It is obvious that these organizations are trying to achieve the removal of the National Facilitator from his current position by all means, now also unlawfully, before the ANP Statute reforms, initiated by the last will be discussed and adopted by the ANP Assembly.

It is now clear that in hindsight unsatisfied with the results of the vote, they are now trying to effectuate other scenarios of overturning these results. I think, that it is clear from my explanations that Seda Shaginyan’s complaint is groundless, since the voting by EaP CSF delegates from Armenia, mentioned in the complaint, was organized properly, and should be considered as both legal and legitimate, and therefore can’t be overturned.    

Best regards,
Hovsep Khurshudyan
EaP CSF ANP facilitator
Chairman of the Board of the EaP CSF ANP Secretariat NGO