ArmInfo. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan presented his views on the letter of the newly elected member of the Constitutional Court Vahe Grigoryan, in which he states about the crisis of the Constitutional Court and presents ways to solve this crisis.
Thus, in an interview with ''Radio Azatutyun'' Pashinyan, referring to this question, said the following: ''I must tell you frankly that Vahe Grigoryan's letter simply shocked me. Why? Because, reading this letter, I realized that during the transformation period of 2018, we all, being concentrated on political manipulation created around Serzh Sargsyan, and being fully engaged in this issue, possibly due to lack of professional knowledge or ignorance of nuances, did not notice the manipulation of the same scale that occurred in the Constitutional Court.
What has happened? When constitutional changes were made in 2015, we were told that this is a reform of the country's full institutional system: indeed, we should have a new government, a new presidential institution, a new parliamentary institution and a new Constitutional Court, because the authors of the text of the Constitution, in fact, meant the following "We have found the ideal model of the Constitutional Court in the Republic of Armenia, which would meet our current needs".
Let us not forget, the Constitutional Court was one of the most discredited institutions in the Republic of Armenia due to circumstances known to you, because the same Constitutional Court ratified all election frauds since 1996, and, in fact, there is a crisis of trust also regarding the Constitutional Court. And the authors of the text of the Constitution, in fact, said: people, this is the new Constitution, and the Constitutional Court should be like this. Judges of the Constitutional Court should not be elected for life or before they turn 65, but for a period of 12 years. Second: the chairman of the Constitutional Court should not be elected by the National Assembly, but by the Constitutional Court for a period of 6 years. That is, every six years there should be a change of the chairman of the constitutional court. Do we have today such a Constitutional Court that would correspond to the text, spirit and architecture of our current Constitution? Do we have a Constitutional Court, which is described in the Constitution? We do not have such a constitutional court.
Why not? Because 40 days before the entry into force of the new Constitution, the long-term chairman of the Constitutional Court Gagik Harutyunyan resigned, as it turned out later, as a result of an interstate deal and manipulation. A major bargaining took place, in which several key persons received what they needed - Serzh Sargsyan received the post of Prime Minister, Gagik Harutyunyan - the post of chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council. 40 days before the new Constitution came into force, after which we would have the newly created Constitutional Court, he resigned and instead of him Hrayr Tovmasyan was nominated and elected by the National Assembly as a member, and later the President of the Constitutional Court.
Meanwhile, according to our new Constitution, it is stipulated that the Constitutional Court itself elects the Chairman of the Constitutional Court, and, more importantly, since both the paper and the pen were in their hands, they wrote transitional provisions stating that to those members of the Constitutional Court who were elected until April 9 , the provisions of the Constitution of edition of 2005 should apply. That is, they are not elected for 12 years, but, in fact, for life, or before they turn 65, and this also applies to the chairman of the Constitutional Court.
And what do we have? It turns out that we have the Constitutional Court described in our Constitution, but we cannot have such a court, at least until 2035, because since Hrayr Tovmasyan was the author of the text of the Constitution, he wrote it in such a way, naturally, in agreement with Serzh Sargsyan and Gagik Harutyunyan so that he could remain chairman of the Constitutional Court until 2035, despite the fact that our Constitution already provides that we do not want such a Constitutional Court.
The will of the founder of the Constitution is different. We need another Constitutional Court. It turns out that we cannot apply the provision on the Constitutional Court until 2035, because Hrayr Tovmasyan, with the help of Serzh Sargsyan and Gagik Harutyunyan, privatized the Constitutional Court in the same way as you can privatize, say, the notary office.
And today we have a situation in Armenia in 2019, both in the direct and figurative sense, and in the constitutional sense, and in the sense of revolution, we have the Constitutional Court of the year 1995. And, in fact, it is evident that there was a privatization of the Constitutional Court, as in the tender, where the terms of reference are written so that only one company could participate in it. And today the Constitutional Court is deprived of the right to elect its chairman until 2035, despite the fact that the Constitution clearly states that the chairman of the Constitutional Court is elected from the composition of the court. And other representatives of the Constitutional Court are deprived of their constitutional right to claim the status of the Chairman of the Constitutional Court every six years ... That is, until 2035 the chapter [of the Constitution] concerning the Constitutional Court is not valid because it has been privatized''.
According to Pashinyan, perhaps this chapter of the Constitution will never be applied, considering the dynamics of changes in the Constitution in Armenia, where the basic law has been changed every 10 years and our people will never have the Constitutional Court of our dreams described by Vardan Poghosyan, Serzh Sargsyan, Hrayr Tovmasyan and Gagik Harutyunyan, who convinced our citizens to support this model.
''Armenia of 2019 must have a 2019 Constitutional Court. Here is a political task. And let no one doubt that this task should be solved'', said the head of the Armenian government.
According to Pashinyan, he can admit that many members of the Constitutional Court could be in the present situation unwittingly. ''But is quite clear who are the authors of the manipulation. The authors of the manipulation are four people - Serzh Sargsyan, Hrayr Tovmasyan, Gagik Harutyunyan and the parliamentary majority represented by the Republican Party, "the prime minister said.
''This is my political assessment. I believe that the National Assembly should speak with the Constitutional Court, or the public or the expert community should do this, so that the Constitutional Court gets rid from the status of a privatized booth'', Pashinyan stressed.
As for the Venice Commission, as Pashinyan noted, this structure had one official position, which was made public on the official website. "According to this position, they consider the cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Armenia fruitful and agreed that we should talk about these legislative changes. I can say that, at least at the level of political contacts, both the Council of Europe and the European Union expressed full support to the Armenian government on the reform of the judicial and legal system, "the Prime Minister stated.