03, 2015

Serzh Sargsyan meets with members of Specialized Commission for Constitutional Amendments adjunct to RA President

President Serzh Sargsyan today held a meeting with the members of the Specialized Commission for Constitutional Amendments adjunct to the RA President and presented his point of view on the Concept Paper on Constitutional Amendments which has been drafted by the commission.

“I am confident you know that in order to make a decision about the presented Concept Paper on Constitutional Amendments, I have held numerous meetings with the majority of key players in the Armenian political arena. I myself have thoroughly explored the draft of the concept paper and the Venice Commission’s opinion on it.

I continue to stick to the firm opinion that constitutional amendments are really important for our country and that they can be carried out only under conditions of wide political consolidation.

Of course, the concept paper is a progressive document whose realization could indeed open up new opportunities for further democratic development in Armenia. So, I really must emphasize that in this regard you have done serious and large-scale work which is worthy of praise and I am grateful for it.

Of course, the arguments and substantiation provided by the specialized commission for transition to the parliamentary system of government seems quite weighty. Moreover, the very Venice Commission considers that the parliamentary system of government could lead to democratic consolidation in Armenia.

At the same time, the consultations held with political forces show that the approaches on this issues do not and objectively speaking, could not fully coincide with each other: there are both proponents and opponents of the parliamentary system of government, there are also some forces that stress the need to be involved in this process in order to adopt a final position, and the number of such forces is much greater.

Nevertheless, I have to be honest enough to say that the objective prerequisites underlying my previously-expressed position in favor of the current system of government have not changed essentially. I still have some concerns over your professional approach to changing the system of government. To put it more clearly, I still find it difficult to imagine how the proposed model is going to unconditionally guarantee two vital components – the country’s external and internal security and the stability of its system of government – which I think is ensured under the current model of government. It is no accident that in the concept paper you too have expressed concern over the stability of the parliamentary system of government and have proposed preliminary approaches to dealing with that issue. Naturally, taking into account the level of generality at which the concept paper was objectively expected to be drafted, those solutions could not have been highly scrupulous and complete.

Notwithstanding all this, I will give political approval to the concept paper because I am sure that we must make the most of every opportunity to ensure our country’s progressive development. Moreover, during my meetings no political force expressed its objection to the approval of the concept paper. At the same time, I ask you to draft such constitutional settings which will provide a cast-iron guarantee to ensure a harmonious combination of a more democratic model of government and state security and stability.

Along the preparation of the text of constitutional amendments, I also deem it necessary to develop an effective format that will stimulate professional discussions with representatives of political forces. Yesterday everybody made solid and well-grounded arguments about it. It is important for me that during all drafting phases we are able to provide section-by-section and chapter-by-chapter feedback to each one of political forces. Here it is important that we also hold discussions with those political forces which are in favor of improving the current system of government. As a result, we can expect to have both a form of transition to the parliamentary system of government and a sophisticated form of the current system of government. It is very likely by that everybody will be convinced of the effectiveness and truthfulness of the new form.

This is all for now. I once again extend my thanks to all of you for doing the work. I congratulate you on this occasion. A new, more complex and large-scale and, at the same time, a more responsible phase is starting. I am sure that in a few months we will have a document containing clear approaches and solutions.

Thank you.”


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