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Press Review


“168 Zham” comments on the 12th anniversary of the adoption of Armenia’s post-Soviet constitution, which is marked as a public holiday. “Our problem is not some provisions of the constitution but the fact that, all in all, the constitution is not enforced,” says the paper. “Armenia’s domestic political, public and economic life is regulated by totally different, unwritten laws and concepts. And this is probably the reason why Constitution Day is not quite celebrated in Armenia, whereas in a normal country it would have been one of the main state holidays.”

“You can have the most democratic constitution but at the same time live under feudal laws,” writes “Golos Armenii.” “The renewed constitution sufficiently provides sufficient possibilities of creating a civil society in Armenia. Unfortunately, the society, owing to its inertia, does not always use those possibilities and, let’s face it, shows little interest in the rights given to it by the country’s basic law. The possible reason for that is that the reform of the basic law was done from above, without a deep realization of its necessity by the country’s rank-and-file citizens.”

“Whatever the quality of the constitutional reforms [enacted in the November 2005 referendum,] it will always be remembered that referendum day had no relevance to the majority of the public,” says “Azg.” “And that sticks to the ordinary Armenian’s idea of the constitution … What do we have now? Law-enforcers violating the constitution on a daily basis; a witness thrown out of a window; an editor, a former foreign minister and two freedom fighters harshly thrown in jail; citizens stripped of their constitutional right to residence due to ‘overriding state interests;’ petty princes placing local authority above the constitution. This is the Armenia of Constitution Day.”

“Aravot” hopes that the country’s top leaders, who congratulated Armenians on Constitution Day, “will start from themselves” in ensuring that everyone respects and complies with the constitution.

“Hayots Ashkhar” believes that every “normal citizen” reading the Armenian constitution should lose “the last doubts about the need for living in the country.” “Can a state with such a constitution not be wonderful? Can such a people suffer there? Can their eyes fail to radiate sincere gleams? They can’t. This is the right answer. ‘So why is our life not that splendid and perfect?’ would ask a naïve reader. Because, we will reply, our constitution is practically not enforceable.”

(Atom Markarian)
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