European values were present in Karabakh, 1,500 years ago
YEREVAN. – Preaching European values in Armenia has become new-fashioned in recent years. But experience has shown that those preachers simply are not aware of the political and juridical heritage of their own people, Azg daily writes.
By the initiative of King Vachagan Barepasht (“the Pious”) of Karabakh (Artsakh) and Utik, a Constitution was adopted 1,500 years ago, in the early 500s, whose rewritten version, which was prepared in 1288, is still kept at Armenian capital Yerevan’s Matenadaran (Armenian ancient manuscript museum). At the initial phase, the draft Constitution was sent to different dwelling areas, where meetings and discussions were held, the people gave their consent, and subsequently the King convened a large national congress, and only after which the Constitution was adopted through a referendum. At the same time, the congress was chaired by a rank-and-file soldier. These methods emerged in Europe 800-1,000 years later.
The First Armenian Constitution is the most vivid example of the fact that, if the natural development of our (Armenian) statehood had not been interrupted by 600-700 years, perhaps we would have been the locomotive of those values which today are the foundations of western democracy.