YEREVAN, May 26, /ARKA/. Speaking last Saturday at the 15th convention of the governing Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) president Serzh Sargsyan said, “We have already entered the final phase of becoming a member of the Customs Union. We expect the Customs Union’s large market to stimulate our economic growth and are confident that our investment and export growth rates will be considerably higher. In addition, we are also going to take individual approaches towards our businessmen and foreign investors.
The social and economic growth of our country is closely related to systemic changes. In this regard, the constitutional amendments will be of essential importance. Those amendments will give completely new incentives for establishing a stable democratic system in our country and building a lawful state. We should state clearly and with self-criticism that more than two decades after gaining independence, for both objective and subjective reasons, we still can’t assert unequivocally that we have laid down a firm foundation for our democracy, have ensured protection of human rights, as well as independency and impartiality of our courts.
All of us should plainly understand that the stable democracy and the lawful state are the pillars of our national security. We have no alternative. Accordingly, the constitutional amendments should help us fulfill this end purpose.
Our political system has a great need for modernization. It is over-personified and over-centralized. There is an obvious disproportion between the real power volume of various bodies and their political responsibility. The system of the executive branch is imperfect, lacks a solid internal logic, as well as a clear division of functions and powers. All of this is quite detrimental to effective management and the level of public confidence toward the activities of state officials.
You are aware that the Commission for Constitutional Amendments has proposed, inter alia, to make a transition to the parliamentary system of government. Regardless of my preferences, we should make this issue a subject of serious and impartial discussions, beyond all kinds of circumstantial speculations. I do not accept the approaches of the political forces and figures who suddenly decided that there is no need to amend the Constitution forgetting the fact that until quite recently they affirmatively demanded the alteration of the political system. I reaffirm once again what I said at the meeting with the members of the Commission for Constitutional Amendments: “People, political forces and today’s passing interests are all short-lived; the Constitution is for generations.”
The radical changes of any political system are closely related to the judicial system. All of us should clearly understand that we can neither ensure secure protection of human rights nor a safe investment environment without an independent and impartial judicial system. Thus, one of the primary objectives of the constitutional amendments is to find up to date and lasting solutions to the existing judicial issues.
These questions are of primary importance, and they should become a subject of examination at all levels in our party. We do not have much time, and I expect that already in summer, the RPA Executive Body will have an opportunity to scrutinize summaries regarding the results of such active discussions.’ -0-