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Seda Ghukasyan

Armenian Constitutional Court Prez Lambasts Bill Calling for His Ouster

Armenian Constitutional Court Chairman Hrayr Tovmasyan told reporters today in Yerevan that the country’s 2015 constitution, of which he is one of the authors, does not allow for changes without the consent of the Constitutional Court.

Tovmasyan was referring to yesterday’s parliamentary vote approving a government-backed bill to change the current constitution.

Those changes call for the immediate resignation of court judges serving more than twelve years and would also require the court to elect a new chairman.

The Pashinyan government has pressured Tovmasyan and other court members to resign, arguing they maintain close ties to the country’s former government and impede judicial reforms.

Tovmasyan has refuted the charges, countering that Pashinyan merely wants to take control of the court.

"Showing great restraint, I just have to say that, as a lawyer,  I felt ashamed of what happened in the National Assembly yesterday," he said.

Tovmasyan reaffirmed that the Constitutional Court had not received a document on the amendment of the Constitution.

"The Constitution, which I helped prepare, presupposes that amendments to the Constitution must come to the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court has not received such a document," Tovmasyan said.

Tovmasyan indirectly described the bill adopted by the parliament as unconstitutional, insisting that he would continue to come to work.

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