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February 21
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Past daily of Armenia writes as follows: Back in 2019, [PM] Nikol Pashinyan had said: "I don't think it is right that constitutions in the country should be changed frequently."

After that, and even before that, he only talked about constitutional changes from time to time—moreover,  emphasizing that there is no need to change the system of governance [in Armenia].

And now, recently he spoke about the need to adopt a new Constitution. Many believe that by doing so, he fulfills the demand of Azerbaijan and Turkey, particularly related to the removal of the reference to the Declaration of Independence [of Armenia], where there is a mention of the agenda for the [international] recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Armenian Genocide. It is considered probable that the provision on the special status of the Armenian Apostolic Church be removed from the [new] Constitution.

According to the information of Past newspaper, along with all this, Pashinyan will try to hold a constitutional referendum to avoid snap [parliamentary] elections. The thing is that, according to our diplomatic sources, the West wants Pashinyan, like [Azerbaijani President Ilham] Aliyev, also to go to the elections and get full legitimacy to sign the "peace treaty." Moreover, it is considered desirable to hold the snap elections in May, and in case of force majeure, in September. However, Nikol Pashinyan is sure that it is impossible to get a majority [in parliament] even with administrative leverage. So, he wants to hold a referendum as a unique test of confidence.

Taking into account the experience of the last elections, in connection with a low percentage of voter turnout, as well as having serious doubts in terms of the results of the referendum, according to our information, Pashinyan has instructed his team's "legal community" to find "loopholes" to make an amendment to the [current] Constitution through the NA [(National Assembly)] before the referendum.

In particular, they want to change Article 207; that is, the provision that the act submitted to the referendum is adopted if more than half of the participants in the referendum, but not less than a quarter of the citizens who have the right to participate in the referendum, voted for it.

However, both this desire and the instruction have caused serious concern among lawyers. The issue that in accordance with Clause 1 of Article 202 of the current Constitution, this change is possible only through a referendum.

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