YEREVAN. – Armenia will shift to the parliamentary system of government starting April when the powers of the incumbent president will expire, the amended Constitution of Armenia says.
For the first time the president is elected by the National Assembly. The newly elected president of Armenia will have more limited powers and the prime minister in fact will be the first statesman in the country.
What is the status of a new president?
According to Article 123 of the amended Constitution, the President of the Republic shall be the head of the State. The President of the Republic shall observe the compliance with the Constitution. In the course of exercising his or her powers, the President of the Republic shall be impartial and shall be guided exclusively by state-wide and nation-wide interests.
The President of the Republic shall perform his or her functions through the powers prescribed by the Constitution.
Under the previous Constitution, the president had to be the guarantor of the independence, territorial integrity and security of the Republic of Armenia. The new president does not have these powers.
How the president is elected?
According to the new Constitution, the president is elected for a term of seven years, while previously the president was elected for five years. The same person may be elected as a president only once. The new president may not hold any other position, engage in entrepreneurial activities or perform other paid work. He may not hold membership in any political party.
Everyone having attained the age of forty, having held citizenship of only the Republic of Armenia for the preceding six years, having been permanently residing in the Republic of Armenia for the preceding six years, having the right of suffrage and having command of the Armenian language may be elected as President of the Republic.
The candidate having received at least three fourths of votes of the total number of Deputies shall be elected as President of the Republic.
What powers will the new president have?
The President of the Republic shall sign and promulgate a law adopted by the National Assembly within a period of twenty-one days, or shall apply within the same time period to the Constitutional Court for the purpose of determining the compliance of the law with the Constitution. The president has no right to dissolve the National Assembly as well as to appoint early elections.
The President can immediately accept the resignation of the Government and make changes in the composition of the government upon recommendations of the Prime Minister.
President can conclude conclude international treaties, upon recommendation of the government. He is authorized to appoint and recall diplomatic representatives to foreign states and international organisations, upon recommendation of the Prime Minister, to receive the letters of credence and letters of recall of diplomatic representatives to foreign states and international organizations, to approve, suspend or revoke international treaties not requiring ratification.
According to the new Constitution, the president can appoint and dismiss the supreme command of the armed forces and of other troops under recommendation of the Prime Minister. He can confer the highest military ranks.
President is no longer the supreme commander of the Armed Forces and in the event of the war, the Prime Minister will confer the powers.
When will the new president assume the office?
The new president will take office on April 9. The president will take oath of office at a special session of the parliament on the same day.