YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–A leading member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation has met with Constitutional Court Chairman Gagik Harutiunian and urged him to block the implementation of Armenia’s controversial agreements with Turkey, the Chairman of the opposition party’s Supreme Council in Armenia told a news conference Friday.
Armen Rustamian said ARF Bureau Member Vahan Hovannesian, who heads the party’s faction in parliament, met with Harutiunian to try and convince him that the controversial protocols on the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations are unconstitutional.
“I consider such meetings very normal,” he said. “We can’t just hold demonstrations outside the Constitutional Court.”
“The head of Armenia’s highest court accepted our concerns,” he added.
The Constitutional Court is scheduled to start on January 12 hearings on the protocols’ conformity with Armenia’s constitution. The ARF plans to launch a new campaign of protests against what many in Armenia and her far-flung Diaspora deem a sellout of Armenian national interests ahead of the hearings.
A positive court verdict is a necessary condition for the ratification of the protocols by the Armenian parliament. Harutiunian raised eyebrows in October when he accompanied President Serzh Sarkisian on an early intercontinental trip aimed at promoting the Western-backed deal in major Armenian communities abroad. Harutiunian insisted afterwards that he took part in the trip in his private capacity and that his participation will not compromise his impartiality during the planned court hearings.