Parliament Majority Seeks To Cancel Constitutional Referendum.

The pro-government majority in the Armenian parliament has moved to enact legislation that will allow it to formally cancel a planned referendum on ousting most members of the country’s Constitutional Court.

Armenians were scheduled to vote on April 5 on government-drafted constitutional amendments ending the powers of seven of the nine Constitutional Court judges who had for months been under strong government pressure to resign.

The referendum was postponed on March 16 when the Armenian government declared a state of emergency to deal with the coronavirus outbreak in the country. Earlier this month the government extended it by another month, until June 14. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan confirmed on May 17 that due to the pandemic the vote will not be held anytime soon.

Under Armenian law, no elections or referendums can take place during the state of emergency. But the authorities must hold a planned vote 50 to 65 days after the end of emergency rule.

A bill drafted by Vahagn Hovakimian, a senior lawmaker from Pashinyan’s My Step bloc, would not only abolish this requirement but also allow the parliament cancel a referendum altogether.

As the National Assembly began debating the bill on Wednesday Hovakimian and other pro-government deputies insisted that it does not mean Armenia’s political leadership will necessarily call off the controversial referendum. They said their initiative is only aimed at eliminating ambiguities in the existing legislation regulating the conduct of referendums.
Opposition deputies were unconvinced. One of them, Naira Zohrabian, questioned the bill’s conformity with the Armenian constitution. She also claimed that the authorities are afraid of not garnering a sufficient number of votes in the referendum and are trying to get rid of the Constitutional Court judges through the parliament controlled by them.

Parliament majority leaders indicated last week that the Pashinyan administration no longer insists on replacing all seven judges and is ready to settle for a less radical change in the court’s composition. They said this is why the government asked the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe this month to help end its standoff with the high court.

H/T Azatutyun

Get in Touch

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Armenia’s Poverty Rate Estimated At 26.4% In 2019 With The Aragatsotn Region Being The Poorest With A Poverty Rate Of 51.4%.

The poverty rate in the Republic of Armenia in 2019 has been estimated at 26.4% according to Armenia’s Statistical Committee which published...

REPORT: Today, Armenian Authorities Officially Handed Artsakh’s Lachin Region Over To Azerbaijan.

Today, on December 1 at 12:00 a.m. Yerevan time, the Armenian authorities officially handed Artsakh's Lachin region over to Azerbaijan per the...

Noubar Afeyan’s Moderna Asks For Emergency Clearance to Begin Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine.

Moderna Inc. said it would ask U.S. and European regulators Monday to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study...

Get in Touch

20,822FansLike
2,464FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe

Latest Posts

Armenia’s Poverty Rate Estimated At 26.4% In 2019 With The Aragatsotn Region Being The Poorest With A Poverty Rate Of 51.4%.

The poverty rate in the Republic of Armenia in 2019 has been estimated at 26.4% according to Armenia’s Statistical Committee which published...

REPORT: Today, Armenian Authorities Officially Handed Artsakh’s Lachin Region Over To Azerbaijan.

Today, on December 1 at 12:00 a.m. Yerevan time, the Armenian authorities officially handed Artsakh's Lachin region over to Azerbaijan per the...

Noubar Afeyan’s Moderna Asks For Emergency Clearance to Begin Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccine.

Moderna Inc. said it would ask U.S. and European regulators Monday to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study...

Governor of Armenia’s Syunik Province Hunan Poghosyan Has Resigned.

Today, on November 30, the Governor of Armenia’s Syunik Province Hunan Poghosyan submitted his resignation, his assistant Armine Avagyan confirmed the news...

Father Hovhannes Is Receiving Treatment For Health Problems In Yerevan, Will Return To Dadivank Soon.

Father Hovhannes, the abbot of Dadivank, was transferred to the Holy Trinity Church in Yerevan. We learn about this from the message spread...