Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Constitutional Ammendments Criticized

RFE/RL reports on the ongoing criticism of the Armenian government's reluctance to implement changes to the constitution that would bring it into line with Council of Europe requirements. Now a former adviser to the previous President, Levon Ter Petrosian, has entered the arena.
Speaking at a seminar in Yerevan on June 15 to discuss the advisability of constitutional amendments, Khachatrian said: "Even in these conditions [President] Robert Kocharian does not want to yield in the face of huge pressure. The authorities do not want to retreat in any way, realizing well that any nationwide event, be it a referendum or elections, creates an additional problem for them as they will have to develop a rigging mechanism and [select] those in charge of these riggings."
According to the opposition in Armenia, the first draft of the proposed changes will be used by the incumbent President, Robert Kocharian, to either run for a third term in office or increase the powers of his office. The Council of Europe has already critcized the government's seeming reluctance to deal with three main issues.
Their statement criticized the Armenian authorities for failing to embrace key Venice Commission recommendations that would give more powers to the Armenian parliament, limit Kocharian's authority to appoint judges, and make the mayor of Yerevan an elected official. The statement warned that failure to accept those recommendations would seriously hamper Yerevan's efforts at European integration.
The full article can be read online here.

Any opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of any publication or organization that he may be working for now, in the past or in the future.