August 11
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President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian today met with members of the Professional Commission on Constitutional Reforms, as reported on the official website of the President of Armenia.

Once again, the head of state highlighted the need for constitutional reforms and welcomed the fact that the Prime Minister established the Professional Commission. “You, as members of the Commission, will be dealing with reforming the number one law of the country,” Sarkissian said, noting that the Staff of the President and the presidential institution will be approaching the issue very seriously and will be participating in the process.

The participants of the meeting particularly talked about the Commission’s activities and the development of the document for reform and shared their comments.

As far as the discussions on a presidential or parliamentary system are concerned, the head of state said both systems can be either be great or very bad. In this context, the President said it was extremely important to hold public discussions and ensure as wide participation of the public as possible.

Touching upon the view of one of the members of the Commission that concerned the direct election of the President of Armenia, Sarkissian particularly said the following: “I try to be the president who is neutral. You all want the President to not be politically affiliated, right-wing or left-wing, but a person who will be able exercise his powers the right way. During crises or in case of need, you have to be right in the middle in order to be an intermediator. In reality, this is very difficult, and a direct election may contribute to the process.”

Talking about the Constitution, Sarkissian said the Constitution is also a culture and philosophy. Attaching importance to the simple mechanism of checks and balances, President Sarkissian stated that this will provide the opportunity to avoid the problems and situations that the presidential institution has faced over the past two years. He brought the example of the election of a judge of the Constitutional Court and said it is possible for the President, the Supreme Council and the National Assembly to elect three judges each.

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