Harutunian Calls for Balance of Power

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"Armenia’s Constitution needs serious amendmen’s and must be dealt with seriously," Parliament Speaker Khosrov Harutunian said at the National Press Club Thursday. According to him–those changes should distribute the powers more evenly be providing the National Assembly with more leverage. He said it is necessary to turn the parliament into a governmental representative and political authority–rather than simply the law-making branch–and establish all mechanisms to allow the parliament counterbalance the executive branch.

According to Harutunian–the amendmen’s should also cover the system of prosecution and court. "On the one side–it is urgent to ensure the independence of the judicial power–and on the other it should not enjoy the kind of independence to become uncontrollable," he said.

Harutunian said the sooner the constitutional amendmen’s are made–the more effectively will the state formation proceed. The Parliament speaker explained that the delay in forming the commission for constitutional amendmen’s is due to the fact that the state ideology and the blueprints for the Constitution are not yet clear.

Harutunian noted that during the election–especially the run-off–even the forces backing Robert Kocharian had different ideas on the future structure of the state. According to Harutunian–some spoke of a parliamentary state–while others agreed upon a state with branches of balanced power on the basis of the current model. "These problems are political–and when a political order is formed–a working group can rapidly give that order a legal shape and representation. Most importantly–we should organize a referendum together with the new parliamentary election," he said. He also noted that he is a supporter of a presidential system.

The early parliamentary election–according Harutunian–is acceptable if crisis political situations are solved. Khosrov Harutunian reported that the National Assembly gave political forces an opportunity to take part in the work to amend or elaborate bills and laws through experts.

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