Expert says proposed constitutional reforms would jeopardize political stability

Expert says proposed constitutional reforms would jeopardize political stability

YEREVAN, April 25. /ARKA/. An Armenian expert on constitutional law has criticized today the authorities’ plan to enforce constitutional reforms arguing that they would jeopardize the political stability of the country. According to Armen Mazmanian, there is no need for constitutional reforms in Armenia  now.

A presidential commission tasked with drafting constitutional amendments was set up in 2013 September. Earlier this month it publicized a “concept” for the constitutional reform that calls for transferring some of the sweeping powers enjoyed by the head of state to the prime minister.  

Commission  chairman, Gagik Harutiunian, said the authorities hope to put corresponding constitutional amendments on a referendum by the beginning of 2016.

Mazmanian argued today that some proposed changes would concentrate  the power in the hands of parliament majority and weaken dramatically the minority.

According to him, that would result in "winner takes all ", which could jeopardize not only the balance of political forces, but also the entire system of governance.

Ashot Khurshudyan, an expert at the International Centre for Humanitarian Development, noted that some other proposed changes are designed to restrict the basic rights and freedoms of citizens. 

Moreover, he believes that many of the provisions in the amended version of the Constitution contradict each other. The proposed changes were also rejected by some opposition parties. -0-

16:18 25.04.2014

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