5 սեպտեմբեր, 2016 18:47

Civic Movement to Monitor Constitutional Referendum in Artsakh

14269678_10157366179645285_850160724_nA group of citizens in Nagorno Karabakh have initiated the Right and Dignity group, a civic movement designed to monitor the constitutional amendments in discussion.

In an official statement, the group says its aim is to draw public attention to the process of constitutional changes in Artsakh, acquaint citizens with potential challenges, enroll large numbers of observers in case of constitutional amendments and the consequent referendum if the former go through, establish active cooperation with various specialized institutions and organizations from Armenia. The group’s own concerns regarding some aspects of the notion in discussion and concerns voiced in the media were the driving force behind the initiative.

"The initiative will take steps to ensure the multi-layer participation of the community and its engagement in an active debate about the topic, “ reads the communiqué. The Right and Dignity civic movement plans to express its clear stance on the suggested reforms and initiate a corresponding campaign following

The statement was signed by Hayk Ghazaryan (journalist), Sarine Hayriyan (TV reporter), Tigran Petrosian (doctor), Armen Grigoryan (Political scientist), Narine Nersisyan (MA Political Science), Susanna Movsesyan (economist).

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NKR President Bako Sahakyan approved the notion of constitutional amendments on August 15. It calls for a transition from a semi-presidential government to a presidential system. The amendments in discussion, if passed would see the post of prime minister eliminated, and the president would assume direct control of the government.

Artsakh opposition activists worry that the changes will allow current NKR President Bako Sahakyan to be re-elected by the National Assembly of Artsakh during its transitional period projected to extend until 2020, and then resume the presidential post under the amended constitution.

President Bako Sahakyan’s second term ends in 2017. The current NKR constitution, does not allow for a third term re-election.