Commission to Conclude Discussion on Constitution

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The National Assembly Interim Commission on Constitutional Reforms summed up the results of the discussion on the draft of the new constitution on Monday. At the suggestion of Tigran Torosyan–the Chairman of the commission and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly–the conclusion on the draft will be adopted at the next commission meeting after the parliament hears the only other suggested draft of the constitution by Shavarsh Kocharyan.

According to Kocharyan–the final conclusion should be adopted after the discussion of the presidential variant of constitutional reforms in the commission. However–taking into account the fact that the presented draft was compared only with the current constitution–the authors suggest that the following section should be mentioned in the conclusion–"as compared to the current Constitution–the draft has many advantages and stipulates constitutional rights for the establishment of a democratic and law-abiding state in the Republic of Armenia." At the same time–the authors are afraid that the conclusion of the commission will be negative. In any case–the parliament will discuss the draft–and according to Kocharyan–a negative conclusion could influence the parliamentarian’s votes.

In his concluding speech Kocharyan stressed the need for a parallel discussion of both drafts. According to him–the cornerstone of the draft of the new constitution is the replacement of the semi-presidential form of government with a parliamentary government–however only after taking the people’s opinions into consideration. Torosyan replied by saying that democracy will not suffer under the current government–since the president and the parliament of the country were democratically elected.

Frunze Kharatyan–the head of the Communist Party Of Armenia faction–one of the co-authors of the draft–presented a number of other proposed changes. In particular–he suggested that district division in the system of territorial government should be replaced by earlier applied regional division–in which the elected council of elders will then elect the head of the community. It is also suggested that the authorities of the Central Bank should be stipulated constitutionally in order to make this structure controllable. Another suggestion was to give the parliament authority to make constitutional amendmen’s–excluding the articles of the constitution protecting human rights and democracy.


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