“This is a good opportunity for debate,” Hakob Hakobyan, a lawmaker of the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), said in reply to the observation by CC Chairman Gagik Harutyunyan, who said Hakobyan had strayed from the subject.
On March 28, the Constitutional Court started hearing over the disputed law on the funded pensions. The appeal was submitted to the Court by Dem am (In am against) pressure group and parliamentary opposition parties who asked the Court to consider the constitutionality of the provision on mandatory pension contributions.
Mr Hakobyan said the law does not conflict with the RA Constitution. “The law simply enables people to participate in their property management. I wish the plaintiff to live a prosperous life and be able to provide their grandchildren with everything,” he said.
Again, Gagik Harutyunyan interrupted Hakobyan saying he was diverting from the main subject.
CC member Kim Balayan was also displeased with Hakobyan’s speech. “You probably confuse the Constitutional Court with the National Assembly,” he said.
In his turn, CC member Felix Tokhyan said, “Mr Hakobyan, you think this [Constitutional Court] is a suitable place for debates. Dear political majority, let me remind you that you have a place for debates – the National Assembly.”
Then Felix Tokhyan asked whether Hakobyan can cite any country that served as a model for introducing the mandatory pension system.
“The system resembles the one used in the Baltic countries, but they are not identical,” said Hakobyan.
“And have you consulted with citizens? Maybe, the 5 percent will mean nothing for one citizen but it may mean a lot for another who cannot event afford to buy cigarettes,” said Tokhyan.