Statement by the Governing Board of «Bright Armenia» Party on restricting the exercise of the Constitutional Right of the Opposition
January 23, 2020

According to Article 108 of the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia (hereinafter referred to as the Constitution), on December 05, upon the request of the ¼ of the overall number of the MPs of the National Assembly, for clarification of facts related to issues within the jurisdiction of the National Assembly and constituting a public interest and presenting those to the National Assembly, by virtue of law an Inquiry Committee was formed at the National Assembly to study the legality and corruption risks of the transfer to Yerevan Community means of transport and other property by various entities, contracts for the provision of services, as well as the transfer, regarding them, by the Yerevan community of other immovable or movable properties, including property, as well as non-property rights, construction permits and allotment privileges since September 2018.

The Speaker of the National Assembly made a statement on the establishment of the Inquiry Committee on December 05 of last year.

Meanwhile, according to Article 20 of the Constitutional Law on the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly (hereinafter referred to as the Rules of Procedure), the Speaker of the National Assembly would not proceed with the request of the MPs, i.e. the Committee would not be formed if there were any issues related to the initiative. In this case, the Speaker of the National Assembly proceeded with the request, and the Department of State Legal Expertise of the Expertise and Analytical Department of the Staff of the National Assembly reiterated its conclusion that the content of the request was in conformity with the Constitution. This is especially important given that some members of the ruling faction were insisting up to the last minute that the National Assembly has no authority in this regard.

According to Article 108 (2) of the Constitution, the seats in the Inquiry Committee shall be distributed proportionately to the number of the MPs involved in the factions. Hence, the majority in the Committee would be the members of the ruling "My Step" faction (7 out of the 11 members proposed). And, of course, the decisions of the majority of the members would be decisive, despite the fact that the Committee would be chaired by the representative from the opposition.

Since the Inquiry Committee is already established by virtue of law, pursuant to the part 2 of Article 108 of the Constitution and part 6 of Article 20 of the Rules of Procedure, only the number of members of the Inquiry Committee had to be determined. We had presented a draft decision on this issue and it had envisaged 11 members.

By voting down the aforementioned decision, the ruling majority directly impedes the exercise of the constitutional right of the MPs to form an Inquiry Committee, which is fundamental to the establishment of a parliamentary state.

In fact, the impediment to the creation of this Committee indicates that a corruption scheme was actually in place in the municipality, otherwise the representatives of the ruling party would be interested in the formation of the Inquiry Committee and obtaining its report.

Thus, the political majority only deepened the suspicions of corruption. The allegations that the oligarchs close to the former government had donated property to the Municipality at the urging of the municipality, receiving some privileges or other rights, hung in the air.

In fact, for the first time since the revolution, we have been confronted with clan thinking, when the law is subordinated to the vicious practice of rescuing a teammate and disguising his will. The above comes to prove the view that Armenia is a parliamentary state still only by name, and that the governing team not only fails to form the true traditions of parliamentarism, but on the contrary, with such anti-democratic approaches, it renounces the path of development and restricts the role of the Parliament in political life of Armenia even more, which we consider a betrayal to the values declared by the revolution.

«Bright Armenia» Party condemns this workstyle, considering it a step backwards in building a democratic society.

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