Extraordinary Parliament Session to Debate Revised Const. Reforms



YEREVAN, JULY 8, ARMENPRESS: Forty-four members of Armenian parliament
signed today under a petition asking parliament chairman, Arthur
Baghdasarian, to convene an extraordinary session on August 29, two weeks
before their summer recess ends, to debate a package of constitutional
amendments that will be put on a second reading.
Baghdasarian called today on lawmakers urging them to be in the capital
city on that day and attend the session. The revised text of constitutional
reforms was sent to Council of Europe experts’ examination on July 7.
Parliament leadership said it reflects all of the Council of Europe
recommendations which Armenian authorities promised to accept late last
month. The revised package calls for giving the Armenian parliament a
broader role in forming governments, limiting the president’s authority to
appoint and sack judges and making the mayor of Yerevan an elected official.
These changes were backed up by the majority of Armenian opposition
forces who said they would end their 18-month boycott of parliament, except
the Hanrapetutyun Party of former prime minister Aram Sarkisian, who said
his party would boycott a nation-wide referendum on constitutional changes
on grounds that the “illegal regime has no right to amend the basic law of
the country.”