The Concept for Constitutional Amendments: Expanding of the Institution of Referendum
Constitution is first of all an act of public agreement. Therefore, constitutional amendments require public demand and then trust in the given institute.

The panelists of the Media Center initiated panel discussion entitled ‘Concept for Constitutional Amendments: Expanding of the Institution of Referendum’ included Tevan Poghosyan, Member of Parliament at the RA National Assembly, Secretary of ‘Heritage’ faction; and Artak Zeynalyan, Lawyer, Member of ‘Rule of Law’ NGO. Gagik Danielyan, Member of the Expert Committee for Constitutional Amendments adjunct to the RA President, Chairman of the Constitutional Law Center, did not participate in the discussion due to technical problems.

The panelists Artak Zeynalyan and Tevan Poghosyan first spoke on constitutional amendments in general, noting that for the time being ‘there is no public demand for constitutional amendments.’ ‘Public surveys, specialists, political parties claim that there doesn’t exist any public demand for constitutional amendments,’ clarified Artak Zeynalyan. With respect to the provision on expanding of the institution of referendum in the concept for constitutional amendments, the panelist noted ‘special mechanisms for people actualizing their self-governance must be developed to avoid Maydans and other manifestations. If people have an opportunity to initiate rallies, it will raise the authorities’ responsibility, as well as people’s direct participation in the governance.’

According to Zeynalyan, no law has undergone referendum so far. The two local surveys concerned the renaming of Gyumri and Vanadzor.

Tevan Poghosyan who agreed with the statement on the inappropriateness of constitutional amendments, argued ‘first there is no public demand, besides the institution of elections lacks confidence and support.’

The panelist stressed another factor, saying ‘The Republican Party of Armenia did not include a provision on constitutional amendments in their election program. Therefore, even if we suppose that the people voted for the present authorities, the latter ones are not to deal with an issue which was not voted for.’

With respect to expanding of the institution of referendum, Artak Zeynalyan considers the proposal inappropriate because the current Constitution has such a provision, ‘it is necessary to change the law on referendum only.’

Tevan Poghosyan pointed out that Armenia lacks the institution of direct democracy since there is no trust in this sector. The provision on expanding the institution of referendum is anti-constitutional, Poghosyan believes.

The referendum on Constitutional Amendments is planned to be held by the beginning of 2016. The draft concept was submitted to the President of Armenia in April, 2014.

Print Friendly and PDF
More Press Releases
Married couples in Armenia plan more but in fact have fewer kids. 2017 UN study
On the world population day, July 11 RA population reproductive behavior study results by UN Population Fund were presented at Media Center.
A new mayor or a new council of elders?
Following Yerevan mayor Taron Margaryan’s resignation on July 9 the situation is uncertain concerning the future mayor election.
Ambassador of Argentina to RA Gonzalo Urriolabeitia’s Press Conference
For all nations across the world the independence day is a special one, notes Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Argentina to the RA Gonzalo Urriolabeitia at July 9 Media Center press conference dedicated to Argentina’s independence day.
Lecturers’ Concerns and Recommendations Addressed to the New Government
Lecturers; workload, financial expenditure uneffectiveness, resource management and other issues were discussed at July 4 Media Center meeting with Lecturer Restart initiative group members Lilit Mkrtchyan, Davit Tinoyan, Artur Kobelyan and Levon Sargsyan.
There should not be formal public discussion: Human rights defenders
The government’s new draft on the order of organizing and holding public discussions is put to public discussion on 62 voted for and 38 against.
Follow us on social networks
Registration of events
Today at Media Center
Armenia-Turkey Events