Meeting of NKR-Armenia Parliamentary Commission

Azat Artsakh, Republic of Nagorno Karabakh
Nov 25 2006

MEETING OF NKR-ARMENIA PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSION

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On November 21 and 22 the meeting of the NKR-Armenia Parliamentary
Commission was held in Yerevan. In his address the speaker of the
National Assembly of Armenia Tigran Torosian said for the first time
two meetings are held in a year, and he hopes that this style of work
will not change after the parliamentary election in Armenia in 2007.
NKR Speaker Ashot Ghulian mentioned that the cooperation of the
parliaments enabled the NKR National Assembly to set up relations
with the parliaments of other countries. He also emphasized that the
Armenian parliament members helped to draft the NKR Constitution,
which will be put to popular voting on December 10. The first
question discussed during the meeting referred to the application of
the provisions of the constitution in the legislation. Rudolf
Martirossian, Chair of the Defense, Security and Legality Committee
presented the principles and provisions of the Constitution. Since
1992 the NKR parliament has adopted 600 laws, which necessitate the
adoption of the basic law. It became clear from Mr. Martirossian’s
speech that the constitutions of Armenia and Karabakh have much in
common. NKR is also going to adopt a semi-presidential government,
and the powers of the parliament multiply. The order of appointment
of the prime minister and the attorney general are similar. The audit
chamber of the parliament will become an independent body. There are
also differences. For instance, NKR will not have a Constitutional
Court. But the Supreme Court will have a Constitutional Chamber, and
anyone can appeal to it. The head of state can take legislative
action. In NKR a person aged 23, not 25 can become member of
parliament. Ashot Ghulian said this provision was proposed by the
Democratic Party of Arstakh. According to him, if the defense of the
country is entrusted to a 20-year-old youth, it would be right to
involve him in political processes as well. The orders of forming
government and courts are different, the structure of the
constitution and the chapter on human rights are different too. It
became clear from Armenian Member of Parliament Galust Sahakyan’s
question that Karabakh will have a separate law on citizenship, and
the Constitution does not bar dual nationality. Gagik Minassian asked
to explain why the president is empowered to take legislative action.
Rudolf Martirossian said it was intended to facilitate the solution
of problems. Member of Parliament Mnatsakan Petrossian asked a
question about the power to hold a referendum. The NKR parliament
member informed that they have not foreseen local referendums,
starting from the security of the country. The parliamentary
commission also discussed the Armenian and NKR economic legislations.
Benik Bakshiyan, Chair of the Finance, Budget and Economy Committee
said Karabakh and Armenia have almost the same laws, but there are
urgent problems, namely the compliance of the economic legislation
with the international standards, membership to the World Trade
Organization, the elimination of structural differences between the
economies of the two republics, and investments. NKR Member of
Parliament Arayik Harutiunian said the economic indexes of Karabakh
are lower than in Armenia. There problems with gasifying, irrigation
systems, housing, international investments. Assistant chief of the
Armenian Tax Service Armen Alaverdian said the parliamentary
committee deals with legislations, and the economic and budget
problems are to be dealt with by the government committee. Deputy
Minister of Economy and Finance Suren Gharayan pointed out the
importance of synchronizing the excise tax regulations in the
legislations of the two countries. There were also political
discussions on the regional developments and the settlements of
conflicts.

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