“The new Draft of the RA Constitution includes a number of negative norms.” thinks the Rector of Gladzor University Doctor of Law, Professor Zhora Jhangiryan. In his opinion, by the adoption of new Constitution there will be fusion of party and state power.
What kind of problems does the Draft include and what dangers does it have? The details are in the interview.
-Let’s begin the interview with the discussion of the expedience of these reforms. Do you think that we need to change the Constitution?
-In 2004 when I defended my doctoral dissertation in Moscow and came back to Armenia and already at that period I mentioned that there is no time for destroying but it is time for building and creation. There would be no positive result by the Constitutional changes. It is not always the fault of the Constitution that there are problems in social life. I think that it is not the fault of the acting Constitution that there are corruption, about 34% poverty and emigration in the RA. Thus, I think that there is no need in making Constitutional reforms. I do not think that acting Constitution is in the way of the law being the law. It is almost 25 years that we got independence but we adopted 2 Constitutions and we have not managed yet to correspond to the judicial system with the demands of the Constitution. This last one is not an ordinary reform it is the change of political system.
-The debates on choosing the form of government are continued till today.
-For me the Constitution has another meaning. All the answers can be found n the following questions: how the parliament of the country is formed, institution of the president and the government in other words how the power is formed within the state. The choice of these subjects determines the formation system of state bodies. According to the new Draft, the elections of the National Assembly are suggested to be held by the proportional representation besides it is suggested to form stable parliamentary majority. I do not understand what “stable majority” means. The norms of Constitution are the norm-principles which must be definite. But let’s try to view this question from different point of view: the National Assembly must express the nation’s will. We must not only think about the concept; we must think of realization of that concept- how it is real, realistic and how the NA model can work on the Armenians’ benefits.
-Also the election procedure of the president will be changed, according to the new draft.
-Just imagine that we formed that stable majority and we elect the president. According to the Draft, it is suggested to elect the president by the electoral commission which is formed by the Deputies of the National Assembly and the representatives elected by the local authorities equal to the number of the NA Deputies. They become 202 people who vote the President of the country. The members now in local authority are the members of the RPA; so there will be about 90 people from this party and 10-15 from other parties. Undoubtedly they would vote for the RPA representative. Anyway, I think the aim of new Draft is the attempt to validate what we have in our country; and we have fusion of party and state power. According to the Draft, stable majority will be formed which means there is an attempt to state by the Constitution fusion of party and state power which is very dangerous. It is a constitutional science and I speak only from the scientific point of view and I do not want to impute to anyone this procedure. This stable majority will suggest the candidates of the NA President, Prime Minister and President of the country which means everyone becomes the representative of the same party.
-There is an opinion that judicial power loses its independence.
-Yes, it is. The judges of the Constitutional Court are elected by the National Assembly at least three fifths of the majority vote from the total number, moreover, three of the judges by the suggestion of President of the Republic, three by the government suggestion and three by the general assembly suggestion of the judges. Three are the representatives of the party. However, I think there is a one problem under these reforms- the formation of the legitimate power inside the country.
-Maybe in the Draft of the Constitution the institution of the responsibility must be included.
-One of the main questions in this Draft for me is that whether there is a responsibility or not. If there is only right and no responsibility there then the problem gets complicated. According to the new Draft, the President of the Republic cannot be called to account criminal chasing or administrative responsibility for his status action. The status is the combination of rights and responsibilities. Status actions are the actions that any state officer must realize in the framework of his authorization. In this case, any action can be considered to be an action resulting from status. By this Draft, we state for the president unlimited immunity. However, I can clearly say that it is possible to ensure the normal development of the society by any type of government- the main thing is wish and responsibility of the governing system towards the society and state.
Interview by Gevorg Tosunyan
Photo by Alexander Sargsyan