President Says Will Not Sign Amendments to Constitution

President Armen Sarkissian (right) with Parliament Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan at a meeting in December 2019
President Armen Sarkissian (right) with Parliament Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan at a meeting in December 2019

President Armen Sarkissian (right) with Parliament Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan at a meeting in December 2019

President Armen Sarkissian on Tuesday told Parliament Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan that he would not sign further amendments to the constitution about the composition of the Constitutional Court, reported the presidential press service.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s My Step bloc on Tuesday more legal approved are amendments meant to complete the dismissal of three of the nine members of Armenia’s Constitutional Court. On June 22, the legislature approved constitutional changes calling for the replacement of three judges and amending the tenure of the high court’s chairman Hrayr Tovmasyan. The president signed the June 22 package of legislation.

The judges in question refused to step down and issued a statement regarding changes that needed to be made to other aspects of the law on the Constitutional Court. On Tuesday, parliament passed legislation making the ousted judges eligible for government pension.

In both the votes last week and Tuesday, the opposition parties represented in parliament, Prosperous Armenia Party and Bright Armenia Party, boycotted the session, thus both changes to Armenia’s Constitution were approved by the parliament majority My Step bloc.

On Tuesday, the parliament also changed the legal procedure for the appointment of Constitutional Court members. The new approach envisions the nomination of justices by the Armenian government, the president and an grouping of the country’s judges. The court will have to fill the three vacancies, before replacing its chairman.

Under Armenia’s constitution, the parliament speaker must sign a bill into law if the president refuses to do so.

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