Parliamentary approval of constitutional amendments ‘anti-constitutional’, says Hayrikyan

Parliamentary approval of constitutional amendments ‘anti-constitutional’, says Hayrikyan

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After the National Assembly voted in favor of a set of constitutional amendments and cleared the way for a referendum some in the “No” front opposed to the changes are also going to raise the issue in the legal framework.

Prominent Soviet-era dissident Paruyr Hayrikyan, the leader of the Union for National Self-Determination (UNSD) that is part of the “No” campaign, said he is going to raise this issue with the Prosecutor-General of the Republic.

“I plan to apply to the prosecutor general within a couple of days to start criminal prosecution of all members of the [constitutional reform] commission, because we are talking about a serious violation of the Constitution,” Hayrikyan told media on Tuesday.

The UNSD leader also commented on the police actions against demonstrators at the National Assembly who protested against the approval of the bill. More than two dozen protesters were roughed up and briefly detained on that day. Hayrikyan said that the police actually helped the “No” front to be heard. “If the police did not interfere in such a way it was unlikely that so many people would have learned about the sentiments of the “No” front,” he said, referring to the clash between the police and the protesters at the building of the National Assembly yesterday.

According to Hayrikyan, it was confirmed yesterday that the parliament which is supposed to be the main representative body of the people, is far from that role.

“It turns out that approximately 80 percent of the National Assembly is for a draft, whereas just two months ago, according to the results of a very serious survey which was conducted by a Georgian non-governmental organization, 81 percent of people in Armenia opposed the same draft,” he said.

On Monday, 103 members of the 131-seat National Assembly of Armenia voted for the draft, whereas only 10 said “no” to it, another three lawmakers abstained. After the National Assembly’s approval of the new constitutional amendments the set of changes needs to go for a popular referendum that is likely to be held by the end of 2015.