Politics 18:39 24/06/2019 Armenia

Constitutional Court-related protests to continue outside Armenian parliament

Members and Supporters of VETO socio-political initiative rallying outside Armenia’s Constitutional Court building against what they call the ‘overthrow’ of the constitutional order, will continue protests outside the parliament building.

Speaking to reporters, VETO initiator Narek Malyan said they will be rallying outside Armenia’s highest court till the end of the working day to ensure its normal functioning. Subsequently, demonstrators will march towards the National Assembly building.

“We are here to ensure the normal work of the Constitutional Court with our own forces after a group of individuals have been trying to disrupt it for a few days already,” Malyan said.

Earlier on Monday, a group of citizens also staged a protest outside the Constitutional Court, demanding the resignation of its Chairman Hrayr Tovmasyan.

The protest comes after lawmakers voted 99 to 22 to elect Vahe Grigoryan as a new judge for the Constitutional Court on Tuesday, who later questioned the legitimacy of the court chairman and six other members.

Addressing lawmakers in a swearing-in ceremony on Thursday, Grigoryan argued the Constitutional Court now consists of ‘judges’ rather than ‘members’ according to the amendments that took effect in 2018. The new judge claimed that only he and Arman Dilanyan, a Constitutional Court judge elected last year, are eligible to serve as judges and make decisions.

What is more, Grigoryan declared that he is solely taking over the ‘powers and duties of the Constitutional Court chairman’ because of Dilanyan’s absence from the country, a statement largely criticized by Armenian experts, who claim the new judge violated two articles of the Constitution.

Lawyer Ruben Melikyan, taking part in the rally, said the Venice Commission has reacted to the recent developments around Armenia’s Constitutional Court.

“The Venice Commission has tasked Mr. Buquicchio to follow the developments and issue a statement in case of necessity. This is an important message to the Armenian authorities. As a lawyer, I asses the situation as a preparation for seizure of power,” he stated, stressing the need to put an end to the process. 



Source Panorama.am
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