Venice Commission round table on constitutional reforms in Armenia

Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary
Contact: Anna Ghukasyan
General to Armenia, Tel: +374 10 24 33 85
Tatyana Mychelova, External Relations Officer, Venice Commission,
Tel.:+33 388 41 3868

The best way to achieve democratic change in Armenia – Venice Commission
round table on constitutional reforms in Armenia

Strasbourg, 29.09.2005 – Experts of the Council of Europe’s Venice
Commission and representatives from other international organisations
are to hold a round table with representatives of Armenian political
parties, media and civil society on constitutional reform.

They will discuss the proposed new constitution at a meeting in Yerevan
at 4pm on Friday 30 September 2005, at the offices of the National
Assembly. This text, which was finalised by the National Assembly on 28
September, is the result of five years of continuous efforts. It will be
put to a referendum at the end of November.

The Venice Commission considers the proposed constitution to be a
decisive step forward for a number of reasons:

* It provides a much better balance between the powers of the President
and the Parliament
* It also provides for the abolition of the death penalty and for better
recognition and protection of other human rights
* A more independent judiciary and a stronger local self-government are
among other major improvements.

The Venice Commission’s positive assessment of the draft constitution is
shared by the European Union and the OSCE. At the same time certain
issues are not considered to be addressed clearly by the current draft
and the international experts attending the round table are ready to
explain how the proposed new constitution can nevertheless provide
viable solutions.

Among the Armenian participants will be representatives of civil society
and a large spectrum of political groups, including those who oppose the
referendum and who are not represented in the National Assembly.

The round table is open to the press.

See the assessment of the Armenian draft constitution on the Venice
Commission’s website .

Contacts for more information:
Anna Ghukasyan, Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary
General to Armenia, Tel: +374 10 24 33 85
Tatyana Mychelova, External Relations Officer, Venice Commission,
Tel.:+33 388 41 3868

ED123a05

http://www.venice.coe.int

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