People should have right to initiate referendum

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| 14:39:24 | 30-04-2005 | Politics |

PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE RIGHT TO INITIATE REFERENDUM

The idea of referendum appeared in the 18-th century in the US in New
England State and then spread over the other states.

Then it was conveyed to France, Switzerland. After the First World War the
institute of referendum was established in Lichtenstein and later in other
states of Western Europe. `Historically the appearance of the institute of
referendum is bound with the non-confidence of the people to the
parliament’, specialist of constitutional right Vardan Poghosyan says.

«Referendum is a means of exercising direct democracy, when problems are
solved by people, who vote `for’ or `against’. The principal kind of
democracy is representative, that is people elect their representatives –
deputies, President and exercise their power with the help of these people.
Direct democracy cannot replace the representative one. It would be naive to
consider that all the important issues will be solved positively», he
considers.

«Constitutional amendments in the RA can be initiated by the President or
the National Assembly. In a number of countries, the possibilities of
conducting a referendum are much wider and what is the most important thing,
the citizens possess the right to initiate referendum. These states are
Albania, Slovakia, Lithuania, Slovenia, etc.

In semi-presidential states there is no right to hold vote on no confidence
to the President on a civic initiative. `In Austria, Island and Slovakia the
parliament can pass a resolution on withdrawal of the President via a
referendum. If the people do not support the initiative the parliament is
dismissed’, Vardan Poghosyan noted. In his opinion one of the shortcomings
of our Constitution is the absence of people’s right for any kind of
initiative. In 9 European state with the essential number of signatures the
citizens can suggest to hold e referendum on a bill. In Italy a referendum
may be held on cancellation of a law or its separate clauses. `As result of
constitutional changes the people should be rendered the right for civic and
legislative initiatives’, Vardan Poghosyan resumed.

Victoria Abrahamyan

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