Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, has said that the constitutional crisis in Armenia can be solved with the Venice Commission’s guidance.
"The Opinion of the Venice Commission adopted on June 19 and made public on June 22 makes it possible to solve the problems that have been in the center of the constitutional crisis between the Armenian National Assembly and the Constitutional Court", said Pejčinović Burić.
In its opinion, the European Commission of Democracy through Law (the Venice Commission) clarified the scope of the Constitutional Court's review in the framework of the process of amending the Constitution and acknowledged the National Assembly's power to revoke its own decision calling for a referendum. Moreover, it recognised that the aim of implementing fully the provisions of the Constitution of 2015 concerning the composition of the Constitutional Court is legitimate. To reconcile this aim with the need to preserve the judges' security of tenure and their independence, the Venice Commission recommended introducing a new transitional period whose length should be determined by the Armenian authorities. The Venice Commission said they regretted that amendments which do not provide for such a transitional period were tabled in the National Assembly on the day of the adoption of the opinion.
"I invite all authorities to be guided by the Venice Commission recommendations to overcome the constitutional crisis through smooth implementation of the relevant provisions of the 2015 Constitution and in accordance with Council of Europe standards," concluded the Secretary General.
The Armenian parliament, meanwhile, in its first reading on Monday approved amendments in the Constitution. In particular, the National Assembly is convening an extraordinary session to discuss the bill on removing and replacing the President of the Constitutional Court and several judges.