Are Constitutional Changes a Must?
23.07.2015
17:47
Experts and politicians discussed the proposed constitutional changes at the online debate entitled “The Process of Constitutional Changes in Armenia” held at A1plus.am.

The speakers included: Karine Achemyan, Republican Party; Karapet Rubinyan, Former Speaker of the National Assembly; Hayk Alumyan, lawyer; and Ruben Sargsyan, Head of APR Group.

Karapet Rubinyan said he personally is not against constitutional reforms but there is one major challenge in the process.

“Serzh Sargsyan is concerned over the termination of his presidency and how to build stability to eternally keep the Republicans’ power in the country,” Rubinyan said. No crucial changes must be made in the current constitution, he believes.

Frequently changing the constitution is a negative phenomenon as such, Hayk Alumyan believes.

“The first edition of our Constitution was rather good and I can hardly say the reforms initiated in 2005 had any positive effect. The latest changes the Government proposes are a step backward from a human rights perspective,” Alumyan said.

The frequent changes in the constitution may lead to the lack of trust toward the document, said Ruben Sargsyan.

“Last summer we conducted a survey among 34 experts and common respondents throughout the country. Speaking on the urgency of constitutional changes, the majority responded that they are not for the process. Besides, people do not trust the election process in Armenia,” Sargsyan said.

Karine Achemyan, however, believes the transition to a parliamentary republic will turn the country into a more democratic state.

“I don’t see anything bad in amending the Constitution. We, though, must pass through several stages and find out how ready our society and political parties are for the reforms,” Achemyan said.

Hayk Alumyan believes the adoption of the new constitution is a concern because “It is quite possible that I am for parliamentary governance but, on the other hand, I am against the norm on arbitrary deprivation of life. If I vote for the first change, I automatically vote for the second one though it is against my principles. The ballot should contain separated sections for a voter to tick what changes they are for and what changes they do not vote for,” Alumyan said.

Lilit Arakelyan, Editor-Coordinator

Please contact the author at lilitarakelyan@pjc.am.

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