Who needs parliamentary republic in Armenia?

Who needs parliamentary republic in Armenia?

The next stage of the constitutional reform in Armenia has started today: 103 members of the parliament supported and 10 votes were against the adoption of the new Constitution. According to it, Armenia should become a presidential republic instead of a parliamentary one. There are only two stages: the project is awaiting approval by the President and the final approval at a national referendum, which, according to preliminary data, is to take place on December 6th.

Politicians’ attitude towards the new Constitution, which is called 'Sargsyan’s project' by many experts (since the parliamentary republic would allow President Serzh Sargsyan to remain in power after the presidential term if the Republican Party of Armenia wins the elections. In this case he will become Speaker of the Parliament). It has finally become clear that RPA, Prosperous Armenia and Dashnaktsutiun supported the project. Orinants Erkir, Heritage and the Armenian National Congress rejected it. However, what is the people’s opinion in regard to the constitutional reform?

The Yerevani youth began an action of protest in front of the parliament building. About 20 people were detained during the action. Aram Manukyan, an MP from ANC, said in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza: "I'm one of the protesters. Now I am about to be brought to a police station because they detained around 20 people. After a while they released me. Now I am trying to release others," Manukyan said.

Commenting on the draft of the constitutional reform, the politician stressed that now he is "totally unfit for Armenia." "Now we have no time, due to the difficulties and tense situation on the border, as well as in Yerevan. We don’t need any problems. In fact, today's voting doesn’t mean that it was over. On the contrary, it is just the beginning,’’ he pointed out.

Manukyan added that nobody expected this reform in Armenian society. "There is no such necessity in our society,’’ said the MP, who represents the ANC.

The CEO of the Caucasus Institute, Alexander Iskandaryan, expects that the population will support a parliamentary system of government. "This reform is directed toward changing the voting system, as well as the legislative basis. In principle, a parliamentary republic is more acceptable than a strictly presidential one for those countries which stick to a European form of government. It is considered that the parliamentary form of government takes the interests of various social groups into account better, which are protected by political parties in the Parliament,’’ he concluded.