Defer or Not to Defer: New bill would reverse military exemptions

Photo: Photolure

A new bill has come before the National Assembly that would revoke the current law that grants military deferment to graduate students.

Parliament deputies Ruben Hakobyan and Tevan Poghosyan from the Heritage faction have developed a bill on making amendments to the Law on Military Obligation, which suggests conscription of boys over 18 without deferment, except for certain cases.

Chief of Government Staff David Harutyunyan said that the government is ready to start discussions on this issue. But already the bill has drawn opposition.

Manvel Badeyan, a representative of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia, strongly opposes the bill.

“What does it mean to deprive boys of the right to study? I firmly believe that such a thing can never be done, except for a case when a country is at a large scale war, and at that time everyone has to go to the army,” Badeyan told media on Friday.

Anush Sedrakyan, the deputy head of the Free Democrats party, said that any soldier should spend  a certain period of time in military posts.

According to Sedrakyan, science in Armenia is not even close to the level of Israel’s, but there is a general conscription law there, and if the principle of equality operates in the army, a general conscription law will not be considered critical.

“Social diversification should be provided in the army. There must be a quota, which will make every boy, including the children of the rich, have his army service in the frontline for a certain period,” she concluded.