YEREVAN, June 24. /ARKA/. The chairman and six judges of Armenia’s Constitutional Court made a statement today in connection with the government-backed constitutional amendments approved by parliament, which are designed to replace them by other judges.
“We urge all public authorities to be guided in their actions and decisions exclusively by the constitution. The Constitutional Court continues to exercise its powers in the normal manner, ensuring the supremacy of the Constitution,” the judges said in a statement issued on Wednesday.
The statement was signed by the chairman of the Constitutional Court Hrayr Tovmasyan, his deputy Alvina Gyulumyan and Felix Tokhyan, Araik Tunyan and Ashot Khachatryan, Ashot Khachatryan, Hrant Nazaryan and Arevik Petrosyan.
Two members of the Constitutional Court – Vahe Grigoryan and Arman Dilanyan- are not indicated as signatories.
On June 22, Armenia’s National Assembly adopted a string of amendments to the Constitution, designed to replace some members of the Constitutional Court. According to the new edition of Article 213 of the Constitution, the powers of the current chairman of the Constitutional Court Hrayr Tovmasyan and those judges who have been in office for a total of more than 12 years are terminated. The remaining judges will continue to work until this deadline. A new head of the Constitutional Court should be elected for a 6-year term after all members of the Court are elected.
Thus, with the new amendments, the powers of the members of the Constitutional Court are terminated, except for those who were elected after 2015. There are two such judges – Vahe Grigoryan and Arman Dilanyan.
Since the adopted draft relates directly to the Constitutional Court, the ruling My Step parliamentary majority refused to send the amendments to the Constitutional Court on grounds that its judges must not determine the amendments’ conformity with other articles of the constitution because of a conflict of interest.
The day before, Armenian President Armen Sarkissian signed into law a package of bills on amending laws on the referendum, on the regulations of the National Assembly and on the Constitutional Court .