Opposition Appeals High Court on Pension Reform

People demonstrated against the controversial pension reform bill outside the Armenian parliament in Yerevan last week. Dec. 5, 2013. (Photo: Photolur)

YEREVAN (Yerkir Media)—Calling a government-backed bill on pension reform unconstitutional the parliamentary blocs of four parties not represented in the ruling coalition on Monday announced that they will send an appeal to the Constitutional Court.

A petition to the country’s high court signed by the parliament members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Armenian National Congress, Prosperous Armenia Party and Heritage Party was delivered to Speaker of National Assembly Hovik Abrahamyan, who is mandated by law to transfer it to the Constitutional Court.

A bill to reform Armenia’s pension system, to go into effect on January 1, was passed by the ruling Republican Party of Armenia and mandates that individuals under 40 pay more social security taxes. Armenia’s efforts to transition to a new system whereby the amount of pensions will depend on workers’ lifelong contributions to pension funds has created controversy.

The appeal calls on the Constitutional Court to deem the section of the bill mandating high taxes as unconstitutional. The authors of the appeal say the provision is a violation of basic human rights.

The four parties had asked to table the high tax component of the bill for one year. However, members of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia did not show up to Parliament to discuss and vote on the matter. The four parties called the measure unconstitutional.

ARF Parliamentary bloc member Artsvik Minasian announced a protest march on Tuesday. Protesters will march from Liberty Square to the Constitutional Court building in support of the appeal to the high court.


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