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VENICE COMMISSION APPROVED OF DRAFT OF ARMENIAN CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenian politicians have received the draft remarks of the Venice Commission (VC) over constitutional reforms in Armenia. Yesterday European Integration Commission Chairman, Parliamentary Vice-Speaker Tigran Torosyan presented his conclusions over the draft. “The revised constitutional reforms draft as compared to the ones the VC has commented over is a incontestable reform. In the Commission’s opinion, the constitutional referendum will be a good basis for ensuring the Armenian Constitution compliance with European standards.” Welcoming the response of the Armenian authorities to any change proposed by the VC, the Commission nevertheless hints further improvement is necessary. This specifically refers to the issue of media. The new order of appointment of members of the TV and Radio National Commission in Armenia are as follows: the National Assembly has to appoint half of the Commission members (however, they should not belong to any political party), the latter half is appointed by the President. Welcoming the amendment the VC nevertheless considered problematic the issue of appointment of all members of the TV and Radio Council by the President. If these powers of the President are preserved, then the process needs to be open and transparent. Besides, the VC proposes to fix the Government structure by the law. T. Torosyan noted that the remark will receive an additional response. According to the preliminary remark of the Commission, the President’s immunity is canceled in the new draft (if he has committed a crime) upon the completion of his tenure. Attention is paid to the draft provision, saying the President can chair the Government sessions or invite Government sessions only over foreign policy, defense and national security issues. The changes referring to the judicial system were also approved. In case these are put in practice, the legal framework should be changed here. The VC proposes making these changes with the participation of the European Council and by means of tests. The Commission also welcomed changes in self-government, paying special attention to election of the Yerevan Mayor. The Constitution draft notes that the Yerevan community, i.e. the Mayor himself, too, have to be elected. At that it is noted that the European Local Self-Government Charter does not rule out direct election of a community leader. The conclusion of the Venice Commission will be considered and approved at the Commission next plenary session to take place in October, reported the Azg. The Draft remarks of the Venice Commission is available in the Library section

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