Dem.am: Civil initiative campaigning against pension reform schedules next rally

A pressure group campaigning against the introduction of a new controversial pension system will hold its next rally and march on March 22.

In an announcement placed on its website the group called “Dem.am” (I’m Against) said the rally will start at 2:00 pm in Yerevan’s Liberty Square of Yerevan.

“As is known, four factions of the Armenian National Assembly applied to the Constitutional Court, asking it to recognize several articles of the law as unconstitutional. The Constitutional Court will start examining the case on March 28 and this process may last for up to three months. March 28 is a crucial day in our struggle and it is the first day of court proceedings. Out struggle will enter a new stage,” the civil initiative said in a statement.

According to “Dem.am”, the purpose of the rally is to inform the public about what has happened after the last rally and march held on January 18 and to evaluate these developments, as well as to demonstrate “the unity and willingness to wage a struggle” to the Armenian government bodies, and to demand that the Constitutional Court recognize the controversial articles as unconstitutional. “Otherwise civil revolt and disobedience will remain the path of the problem’s solution,” it warned.

Under Armenia’s new pension law that came into effect on January 1, 2014 all citizens born after 1973 must pay an additional five to 10 percent of their salaries to privately owned pension funds on the understanding that they will be able to use their accumulated contributions when they reach the retirement age, which is set at 63 for both men and women in Armenia. In view of the application to the Constitutional Court by a number of opposition parties, the provisions of the law stipulating mandatory deductions from citizens’ salaries have been suspended pending the ruling, but protests in Armenia continue as activists and working citizens complain about deductions still being controversially made on their behalf by employers.