STEPANAKERT, Artsakh (Armenian Weekly)—On January 17, the Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) Republic National Assembly voted 20 to 7 with one abstention to approve the President’s proposal to hold a referendum on the draft Constitution of the Artsakh Republic.
In a recent interview conducted by Artsakh-based Aparaj newspaper, the chair of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Central Committee of Artsakh and ARF Parliamentary faction head David Ishkhanyan explained why the ARF faction voted against the proposal.
“The constitution must strengthen our national goals and must not leave is with any doubts… It should also be the basis for our democratic principles,” said Ishkhanyan.
“There were certain factors of the constitution like the change system of government and simultaneous elections that the ARF was against,” said Ishkhanyan. “We also had a more radical approach to the solution of our borders.”
According to Ishkhanyan, the new constitution shies away from the principles of democracy. When asked whether their vote against the new constitution would become a reason for the ARF to become an opposition party, Ishkhanyan stressed that it should not.
“We try to conform our views based on the democratic principles of the people of Artsakh,” added Ishkhanyan. “The will of the people has always been acceptable for us.”
After the referendum, the ARF of Artsakh is planning on taking steps to promote their work and ideology to the public.
“Recently, following the publication of an opinion poll, 80 percent of our ARF members envision the system of government to be led by a presidential administration,” said Ishkhanyan.
In the coming days, the ARF Central Committee will work create the appropriate mechanisms to help spread the views of the ARF to the public.