One more unconstitutional law


Lragir, Armenia
Dec 22 2006

On December 22 the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia
discussed the compliance of the 2nd and 3rd points of Article 31
of the law on political parties with the Constitution of Armenia on
the appeal of Ombudsman Armen Harutiunyan. These points provide for
dissolution of a political party if it fails to run for parliament
in the recent two parliamentary elections, or if in one of the recent
two elections it gets less votes than one percent of total votes for
the tickets of all the political parties running in the election.

Ombudsman Armen Harutiunyan relied on Article 28 and Article 43 of
the Constitution to state that if a political party does not get a
certain number of votes in the election, it is not a violation of the
law and cannot be a precondition for applying sanctions. Generally,
the Armenian Constitution provides for banning or suspending political
parties but not for dissolution. Besides, the ombudsman stated
that the purpose of the political parties is to present political
approaches rather than to get votes. And it is possible to present
political approaches even if the political party is not elected to
the parliament.

Armen Harutiunyan thinks it would be right to let the political market
determine the fate of the political parties like the economic market
determines the fate of businesses. The representative of the National
Assembly of Armenia stated in reply that the right for establishment
of political parties and affiliation with political parties is not
an absolute right. There are other limitations for political parties,
including the number of members or offices.

When Ombudsman Armen Harutiunyan started the ~Striumphant~T campaign
for revealing the unconstitutionality of one law or another by
appealing to the Constitutional Court, the media concluded that hardly
two or three laws in Armenia are not unconstitutional. The profusion
of unconstitutional acts is an indicator of the qualification of its
authors and enacters.