June 17-21. Crisis Situation in The Constitutional Court of Armenia

Last week the RA National Assembly (NA) elected lawyer Vahe Grigoryan judge of the Constitutional Court of Armenia (CC) with 99 votes in favor and 23 votes against. Two days after his election, on June 20, Grigoryan announced the crisis situation in CC.

Grigoryan’s grounding is as follows –  there are no legitimate judges in CC except from him and Arman Dilanyan elected by NA in December, 2018.  According to Grigoryan, the other 7 persons presenting CC, including Hrayr Tovmasyan, the CC Chairman, are just CC members and not judges. Meanwhile, according to the RA Constitution, the Constitutional Court consists of judges elected by MPs. This serves as basis for Grigoryan to announce that besides taking the office of CC judge, he will also carry responsibility for “The Implementation of authorities and duties of CC Chairman,” as the other legitimate judge is on vacation during these days.

Current CC Chairman Hrayr Tovmasyan, has not responded to this statement officially yet, but there will probably be new developments on this issue.

Hrayr Tovmasyan has taken the post of CC Chairman since March 21, 2018 on the basis of RA NA decision. He was elected CC member on March 2, 2018 with 64 votes in favor and 27 votes against. That time, Tovmasyan was Member of Parliament, chairing the Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs and represented interests of ruling Republican Party.

9 days after resignation of the previous CC Chairman Gagik Harutyunyan, he took the office of CC Chairman. Harutyunyan resigned as he was elected president of the newly established Supreme Judicial Council (SJC).

Shortly after PM Nikol Pashinyan’s announcement on the judicial reforms, Gagik Harutyunyan and SJC several members resigned.

Before being elected CC judge, Vahe Grigoryan was the representative of the legal successors of the victims of the events of “March 1” case, 2008. Grigoryan is also known as a lawyer protecting interests of 4 families in Buzand Street at the beginning of 2000. The latters refused to sell their property in spite of the Government decision, according to which there should have made some construction in the area under the name of “state needs” (talk is about current Northern Avenue).

SJC New Members

On June 20 and 21 NA elected SJC new members. Both candidates were nominated by NA “My Step” faction.

Grigor Bekmezyan received 107 votes in favor and 4 votes against. Bekmezyan is a civil law expert and represents CSTO former Secretary General Yuri Khachaturov’s interests within the framework of “March 1” case. 114 MPs voted in favor of Vigen Kocharyan, and 4 MPs – against. He has been in the post of Deputy Justice Minister since 2015.

Alienation precondition of “Nairit” Plant

“Nairit” plant is being put up for auction next week. There is one precondition for alienation. A business plan is required which will allow to fully restart the plant’s production and infrastructure. This decision was made on June 18 during the advisory meeting of 8 members of the “Nairit” plant staff and RA Government representatives. When submitting such a business plan to the Government, the coordinating group members will also be invited to share their views. It is noted that this will exclude the plant partly alienation with uncertain future.

New Council for the Needs of the Disabled

According to PM Nikol Pashinyan’s decision on June 19, a Coordinating council for the implementation of reforms of Disabled people’s needs assessment system will be set up. The decision runs that head of the council should also involve international donors and non-governmental organizations while carrying out the reform process.

Translated by Mary Grigoryan

Ampop Media

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First Published: 24/06/2019