February 22
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YEREVAN. – Zhoghovurd daily of the Republic of Armenia (RA) writes: The National Assembly (NA) yesterday adopted (…) the draft decision on putting the constitutional amendments to a referendum.

As it is known, by the draft constitutional amendments, the MPs propose to terminate the term of office of the CC [Constitutional Court] President and the members elected until April 9, 2018.

Now this decision must be followed by appropriate processes, including by RA President Armen Sarkissian.

RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced yesterday at the NA podium that he had reached an agreement with the RA President during his last meeting, and the latter agreed to settle the issue through a referendum.

But there are some interesting nuances hidden here. In any case, the authorities’ backstage does not rule out the possibility that the referendum will not take place, and that will be the case when the CC judges take advantage of the early retirement plan.

As it is known, the law on voluntary early retirement of CC judges is valid until the end of this month. (...) And, by yesterday's initiative, the authorities made it clear that it’s all the same, they [the serving CC judges] would be dismissed from their positions if the referendum was adopted.

This is certainly one of the options. And with the other option, a referendum is really going to take place. In that case there are clear deadlines, and in fact, the referendum on constitutional amendments will take place in May (...).

And, according to the Law on Referendum, the referendum campaign will last 60 days. Then, according to preliminary calculations, the power will need about 650 thousand "yes" votes.

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