Venice Commission has issues its second Interim Opinion on the constitutional amendments in Armenia.
According to the document, the work implemented by Armenia’s Constitutional Commission is of a very high quality and the prepared text is in line with the international standards.
The preliminary opinion of the Venice Commission included 4 main recommendations, which were fully or partly considered by Armenia’s Constitutional Commission.
Specifically, the Commission notes that the residence requirement for being elected to the National Assembly (Article 47(2)) is now reduced from five to four years, which represents a clear improvement.
Nevertheless, the prohibition of double citizens’ eligibility to be elected in the National Assembly has not been removed.
Article 89 no longer prescribes the second round of elections as a necessary feature of the electoral system, but it still may be held (if the Electoral Code provides for it).
Moreover, it is now proposed to remove Article 89 from the provisions listed in Article 201 as those requiring amendment through referendum.
The explicit prohibition to form new factions during the whole term of a legislature has been removed from Article 105, which is also an improvement, despite the fact that the possibility to create a faction remains restricted.
As to the election of judges of the Court of Cassation, the required majority has now been increased to three fifths. The role of parliament in appointing Cassation court judges has been correctly removed.
“The Venice Commission stresses once again the importance of an open and continued dialogue with all the political forces and with the civil society of Armenia in order for these constitutional amendments to be adopted by parliament and, subsequently, by referendum, which would represent a further important step forward in the transition of Armenia towards democracy,” the document reads.