04, 2014

Draft of Concept Paper on RA Constitutional Amendments Was Presented to RA President


Today, the President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan held a meeting with the members of the Specialized Commission for Constitutional Amendments adjunct to the RA President. At the meeting, the Chairman of the Commission and the President of the Constitutional Court Gagik Harutyunyan informed the President of Armenia that the preliminary version of the Draft of the Concept Paper on RA Constitutional Amendments was ready and was put in the official website of the RA Ministry of Justice. The Chairman of the Commission introduced the main provisions of the Concept Paper and the ways to deal with the pivotal issues touched upon there.

Taking into account the fact that the Draft of the Concept Paper is preliminary and should enter a mandatory public discussion period, Gagik Harutyunyan mentioned that in this period they did not intend to form common and final points of view on all the issues. Particularly, the issues regarding the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the functional and institutional effectiveness of the judicial system, as well as the form of government and the conduct of elections were underlined.

The President of Armenia thanked the Chairman of the Commission and its members for doing a large-scale work and presented his position on some pivotal issues.


Remarks by the President of the Republic of Armenia at the Meeting with Members of the Specialized Commission for Constitutional Amendments

I thank you, Mr. Harutyunyan, and all the Commission members, for doing this large-scale work. I am convinced that the Commission members’ high professional qualities have allowed highlighting and working on all the most important issues, which are of concern to our state and society today. I am also convinced that the Commission possesses both scientific and practical justifications concerning the issues of purely legal nature. I have no doubts about it.

Touching upon the separate set of problems raised by you, I think that all important issues related to the judiciary, all pros and cons should be discussed by engaging the very representatives of that system. Our decisions will be based on your conclusions.

As far as the form of government is concerned, my point of view on this question is well known and I have had an opportunity to speak up on that matter stating that the present form of government for our country, at least for this period, is the most acceptable one. In any case, that is my view of it.

However, I think that the issue raised by the Specialized Commission, should become, inter alia, a matter of public discussions. Yet, it is important to take into account the fact that the positions of our country’s political forces should not be ignored or unappreciated while assessing the issues of political importance.

For this matter it is important to hold public discussions and to ensure the active and effective participation of specialists, the representatives of civil society and political parties in those discussions in order to make balanced decisions. Those decisions should be targeted at ensuring the sustainable development of the state instead of pursuing the narrow interests of separate groups.

Together we should be able to establish solutions, which are not circumstantial and are beyond the interests of any person or any political force since they might be about our country’s development process and its future. People, political forces and today’s passing interests are all short-lived; the Constitution is for generations.

To launch our movement on this path, I would like to make the first step of my own to set up the discussion on the constitutional amendments in a free vein. Before kicking the discussion off I declare that I, Serzh Sargsyan, will never more seek nomination for the position of the President of the Republic of Armenia.

If the concluding discussions would result in a path to be chosen not coinciding with my own vision, and by this I refer to the parliamentary model of government, I will neither display any claim on the position of Prime Minister. I strongly believe that one person should not pretend on the helm of the state in Armenia for more than two times in his lifetime. I am the leader of Armenia’s largest political force – the Republican Party of Armenia – and whatever the constitutional arrangements we adopt, the Republican Party of Armenia will abide to play by those rules remaining a decisive and vital actor in Armenia. By all means, that is the road we confidently embark upon. I state this since I am very well aware of the Constitution’s role and importance of the democratic traditions for our country. That is much more important than all possible speculations, which simply pertain to the genre of light-mindedness. I state this today in order to guarantee you both your freedom in carrying out the process of amending the Constitution and in general to act freely.

As a matter of principle, I certainly agree with your proposal to extend the period of public discussions on the Concept Paper. I think that as an author of this document the very Commission should accomplish the complex and responsible mission of initiating proper discussions and summing up their results.


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