During an extraordinary session of the parliament initaited by Republican, Tsarukyan and ARF-Dashnaktsutyun factions, the National Assembly adopted a measure aimed at altering the procedures of the legislative body.
The measure passed during a second and final reading. During the initial draft this measure was not cemented in the law. Only last night, a new proposal was brought forward and quickly accepted today. Voting took place behind closed doors without the customary live broadcast. Journalists were also barred from the session. The YELK Alliance faction was the only parliamentary wing to oppose the measure.
- 67 out of 105 members of the National Assembly voted in favor of the amendment to the law.
- Aforementioned three factions installed the amendment to prevent snap parliamentary elections.
- Earlier Prime Minister Pashinyan had announced about organizing snap parliamentary elections by the end of the year.
- In order for such elections to take place according to the Constitution, the prime minister has to resign and if the Assembly fails to appoint a new prime minister twice consecutively then the Assembly will be dissolved and new elections will be held in accordance with the law.
- In reality people could prevent parliamentarians from reaching the chamber which would prevent the chamber from reaching quorum and if National Assembly failed to have quorum twice then according to Constitution it would be defunct.
- According to this new amendment the inability to reach a quorum is no longer considered as grounds for canceling parliamentary sessions, but rather a session is considered to be in session until quorum is met.
- This new amendment applies to all parliamentary sessions but has been adopted explicitly to prevent snap elections from taking place.
Comments by constitutional law expert Vahe Grigoryan
- The law still needs to be signed by the president who according to the Constitution has 21 days to sign it.
- During that period the president has the power to appeal to the Constitutional Court to assess the constitutionality of the measure.
- The Constitutional Court can assess the law and publish its findings in the course of three months.
- After the publication of the decision by the Constitutional Court which establishes the constitutionality of the amendment, the president has only five days to sign it into law and in the case of his refusal to do so the Speaker of the National Assembly will sign and publish the changes in the course of five days.
- If everything goes as planned for those who have initiated the amendment, there are four months until it becomes law.
By Gevorg Tosunyan
Photo: Mane Gevorgyan
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