A member of the Constitutional Court questioned on Wednesday the wisdom of Armenia’s transition to a parliamentary system of government sought by President Serzh Sarkisian and his political allies.
“I’m not a fanatic supporter of the parliamentary system in our country,” said Felix Tokhian.
Tokhian claimed that some members of a presidential commission that has drafted corresponding amendments to the Armenian constitution also have serious misgivings about such a radical change. He did not name them.
The commission is headed by Gagik Harutiunian, the Constitutional Court chairman, and comprises senior state officials and legal experts loyal to Sarkisian. It has said that a switch to the parliamentary system would facilitate Armenia’s democratization. Most Armenian opposition parties insist, however, that it would only allow Sarkisian to prolong his rule.
While objecting to the parliamentary republic, Tokhian stressed the importance of curtailing sweeping powers enjoyed by the Armenian president. “The [existing] system is extremely centralized,” he told reporters. “It needs to be decentralized.”
Tokhian also endorsed other amendments proposed by the commission. He claimed that they would make Armenian courts more independent.