Wednesday, June 22, 2005

PACE Resolution on RA Draft Constitution

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has worded a resolution on the imminent constitutional amendments. Interestingly, it supports most of the criticisms made by the opposition in Armenia but thankfully, it looks as though pressure from the CE might yet force the government to bring the constitution in line with European standards.

In particular, strengthening the power of parliament, promoting the independence of the judiciary and making the Mayor of Yerevan an elected official are the three main points that both the opposition and the CE want addressed. Simply, anyone living in Armenia can understand why these three points are vital for the democratic development of Armenia.

7. This is a situation that can no longer be tolerated. Armenia simply cannot afford another failure of the constitutional referendum. The preservation of the status quo and the present Constitution (as we explain in detail in Chapter 3) might serve certain narrow political interests, but would have devastating consequences for the democratic development of the country. This is why we believe that this report is timely and necessary. Our Armenian friends, with whom cooperation has always been excellent, should take it as a sign of support for the so-much needed and so badly overdue democratic reforms.

The full text can be read online here.

BTW: If the government fails to incorporate the recommendations of the CE and the opposition into the amendments, the latter will be urging people to vote against the changes. In fact, the plan is to turn it into a referendum of confidence in the Armenian President and National Assembly. With only those people interested in seeing authoritarian presidential power reign in Armenia, who can blame them?

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