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Pashinyan Says Armenia Needs New Constitution; Fails to Provide Specifics

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan today argued that Armenia needs a new constitution but failed to provide specifics about what fundamental rules need to be changed in the revised document that determines how the country is to be governed. 

Pashinyan, in a lengthy speech yesterday at the Ministry of Justice, argued that a new constitution is needed that makes Armenia “more competitive and viable” in an ever-changing world and one that is not subject to “doubt”.

While he didn’t go into details on why he believes the current constitution is not “legitimate”, it can be assumed that he’s referring to the December 2015 national referendum that changed Armenia’s political governance from a semi-presidential system to a parliamentary republic.

The referendum passed with 66.2% voting in favor of the proposed amendment. 

Opponents of the new constitution argued that the amendment was a ploy by then President Serzh Sargsyan to stay in power after his second and last term as president.

The new draft constitution was sent to the National Assembly for review. The Republican Party of Armenia, Armenian Revolutionary Federation and Prosperous Armenia voted in favor of putting the draft constitution to a vote, while the Armenian National Congress and the Heritage Party voted against the move.

Opponents of the new constitution and independent European observers claimed that the national referendum was marred with various irregularities including vote -rigging and coercion.

Pashinyan, yesterday, said he believes that while the parliamentary governance model is the “most suitable” for Armenia, the question of the current constitution’s legitimacy remains.

Pashinyan would only say a first draft of constitutional reforms has been submitted and that the Council for Constitutional Reforms will begin to review the document this month.

Following his ambiguous call for a new constitution, Pashinyan went on to claim several reforms his administration has achieved in the judicial system and the courts.

He highlighted salary increases for judges, a new procedure for the selection of judges, and the introduction of international standards for judges.

Comments (1)

Actually Armenia needs a new leaders.

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