Constitutional amendments and “outgoing” President (video)

Armenian Constitutional Court member Kim Balayan says even the Declaration of Independence requires that Armenia shift from a semi-presidential system to a parliamentary system of government.

“Several article of the Declaration suggest that a parliamentary system of government is the preferable option,” he said.

Mr Balayan singles out Items 12 and 3 which say the Constitution is subject to changes and reserve the right to act on behalf of Armenian people to the Supreme Council – Armenia’s parliament during the first years of independence. The CC member does not know why Armenia chose the semi-presidential system.

“Armenia was at war then, that is why the country chose the semi-presidential system of government,” says Gevorg Danielyan, an advisor at the Constitution Court. “A centralized government is a more acceptable option for a country which is fighting war.”

Gevorg Danielyan says Armenia is a more or less established country if compared with 1993 and 1994.

“Today we do not need a strong leader to make decisions in a warlike situation,” he said. “The semi-presidential system is exhausted in modern-day Armenia.”

While Mr Danielyan does not object to switching to a parliamentary system, he says principle political equilibrium should be maintained with all parties having equal opportunities.

The switchover to the parliamentary system will only extend the monopoly of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), says human rights activist Artur Sakunts. “It would be more honest to say that Armenia is ruled by the HHK.”

Mr Sakunts believes that no one is interested in constitutional amendments since the authorities do not have the political will to change anything in the country. Besides, people do not trust the authorities as they do not solve their problems.

“The rules of game set by the current regime are more important than the provisions of the Organic Law,” he said.