Opposition Boosts Activity of Parliament

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–At a press conference held last week–National Assembly Speaker Khosrov Harutiunian summarized the outcome of the spring session of the Armenian parliament. In the period from February 2 to June 10–the National Assembly held 15 regular and five special meetings. A special meeting was devoted to the inauguration of President Robert Kocharian. A total of 43 issues–out of 130–were discussed. Discussions of 80 issues were postponed for the next session of parliament–seven issues were withdrawn from the agenda following discussions or at the request of the authors of the legislative initiatives. The government presented 58 legislative initiatives–the deputies presented 65. A total of 125 decisions were made–50 of them being normative and 75 protocol.

Harutiunian pointed out the adoption of the package of laws aimed at establishing legal foundations for a new judicial system–the discussion of the Election Code–the introduction of amendmen’s to a number of tax legislation as well as the adoption of legislative initiatives regulating the relationship between the government and the parliament.

The speaker described the discussions of the Election Code as useful. Even though neither of the three presented drafts were assumed as a basis–the discussions specified the positions of the political forces attending them. He expressed optimism that the summer recess would be used for the purpose of preparing a single draft on an alternative basis.

Five of the 35 adopted laws provide tax privileges to separate enterprises–and 16 amend the earlier adopted laws and codes. According to Harutiunian–special attention should be paid to the adoption of the law "on fixed paymen’s" aimed at improving the tax policy. This legislation will ensure stable revenues to the budget–he said. The changes in the tax legislation are intended to improve the tax administration and ease the tax burden on the public.

The speaker emphasized that the increase in the number of legislative initiatives on the part of deputies and their active work during the session can be explained by the return of the opposition to parliament and the creation of favorable conditions for political activities of parliamentary factions and groups.

He reported that the seventh session ratified 19 international agreemen’s. Simultaneous with the ratification of separate agreemen’s–the government was requested to use credits more effectively.

Throughout the spring session–Harutiunian said–there was a certain boost in the interparliamentary ties of Armenia. Parliamentary delegations attended the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe–different seminars and forums. Regarding current foreign relations–the speaker pointed to the establishment of standing interparliamentary commissions–with–among others–the parliamen’s of Russia–Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh.


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