Law terminating powers of top court judges could be put to referendum

Law terminating powers of top court judges could be put to referendum

PanARMENIAN.Net - The ruling My Step party will vote down a draft law terminating the powers of the President and judges of the Constitutional Court of Armenia on first reading, lawmaker Vahagn Hovakimyan said on Thursday, February 6.

The parliament could then discuss the matter of holding a referendum on the issue, Hovakimyan said, describing the move as an example of direct democracy.

In December 2019, charges were brought against the President of the Constitutional Court, Hrayr Tovmasyan, “for abuse of power which caused grave consequences.”

Tovmasyan, who was appointed in the position in February 2018, has been accused by members of the ruling party of having a conflict of interest in the trial of ex-President Robert Kocharyan because of his history and ties with the country’s pre-revolutionary authorities.

The National Assembly voted to strip Tovmasyan of his judicial powers on October 4, but the Constitutional Court rejected the motion, since it “does not comply with the rules”.

Tovmasyan himself claims that the aim of stripping him of his judicial powers was to stop the Constitutional Court from exercising its oversight role in ensuring that any political decisions made by Prime Minister Nikol Pahshinyan and his My Step bloc would be in line with the constitution.

He has said he is not going to leave his post willingly.

Under the current constitution, Tovmasyan will remain the President of the Constitutional Court by 2035.

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