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Seda Ghukasyan

Armenia: Constitutional Court Judge Vahe Grigoryan Backs Changes to Top Court

Armenian Constitutional Court Judge Vahe Grigoryan welcomes a recently passed government sponsored bill to force his colleagues on the bench who have served more than twelve years to resign.

“I fully welcome this step taken by the parliament. It’s a bold step for several reasons and, in my estimation, an historic step," Grigoryan told reporters gathered outside the Constitutional Court in Yerevan today.

The bill, which has already been signed into law by President Armen Sarkissian, goes into effect today.

Three members of the nine-member court, according to the new law, must step down as of today. In addition, Hrayr Tovmasyan must be replaced as Constitutional Court Chairman.

Yesterday, the three judges in question, and Tovmasyan, announced they have no intention to resign, arguing the new law is unconstitutional because the parliament’s majority refused to send the amendments to the Constitutional Court for examination beforehand.

The three judges facing ouster are Feliks Tokhyan, Alvina Gyulumyan and Hrant Nazaryan.

The bill was passed at an emergency sitting of the parliament. Prosperous Armenia and Bright Armenia MPs boycotted the vote.

Amidst the shake-up, Prosperous Armenia has also challenged the new law in a motion filed with the Constitutional Court.   

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