YEREVAN, June 27. /ARKA/. Armenian parliament chairman Ararat Mirzoyan said in a Facebook post today that the duties of the chairperson of the Constitutional Court will be performed by the oldest of the Court’s judges until the election of a new one.
According to a set of amendments drafted and approved by the My Step parliamentary majority earlier this week, three of the nine judges who had served more than 12 years in office and the chairman of the Court Hrayr Tovmasyan have been dismissed.
The day before, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan wrote in a Facebook post that the constitutional amendments came into force and, from that moment on, Hrayr Tovmasyan was not the chairman of the Constitutional Court, and Felix Tokhyan, Hrant Nazarian and Alvina Gyulumyan were not judges of the Constitutional Court. Mirzoyan said that the oldest of the remaining judges now is Ashot Khachatryan, born on September 10, 1962.
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. The amendments were signed into law by Armenian President Armen Sarkissian.
The two opposition parties represented in the National Assembly: Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and Bright Armenia (LHK) boycotted the emergency session that passed the amendments.
The Prosperous Armenia collected signatures of 26 lawmakers and applied to the Constitutional Court to challenge the constitutional amendments approved by the parliament, calling them unconstitutional. To appeal to the Constitutional Court, it is necessary to collect signatures of 1/5 of the total number of deputies of the Armenian parliament.
Armenian parliament has 132 deputies, of whom 88 are from the ruling My Step, 25 are from the Prosperous Armenia, 17 are from the Bright Armenia and 2 are independent lawmakers.