Friday, 07 August 2020

W Weekly Update

27 June - 4 July

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Weekly update 

 

4 July

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a working meeting with the leadership of the Ministry of Defense and the Armed Forces, headed by Defense Minister David Tonoyan and Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Onik Gasparyan. Development scenarios in our region’s military-political situation and the plan for the use of the Armed Forces were discussed during the meeting, said ARAVOT.am. Addressing those present, the Prime Minister said: “Today’s discussion is very important. From time to time we discuss a plan on the use of the armed forces in different formats. To begin with, I consider it important to highlight the high pace and quality in the development of Armenia’s Armed Forces. I want to state that this is the priority of all priorities for my government, since the goals that the Armenian people aspire for cannot be achieved unless our armed forces are adequate enough to respond to geopolitical challenges, both strategic and tactical. Here, I would like to underscore that the current pace of development of the Armenian Armed Forces is important in terms of ensuring peace and stability in the region.

 

3 July 

According to an official press release, the imposed ban on the Judge Hrant Nazaryan's entry "stemmed from the logic of the recently adopted and enacted reforms to the Constitution of Armenia," said TERT.am. The Police cited, in particularly, the amended Article 213 of the organic law (adopted by the National Assembly on 22 June and effective since 26 June, 2020) requiring that the high court members or judges appointed until the entry into effect of Chapter 7 of the Constitution complete their tenure and have their authority terminated provided they served "for no less than 12 years." A systemic analysis of the norm leads to the assumption that former members and judges of the Constitutional Court have no right to access the administrative premises of the building. The Police cited also procedural provisions regulating the internal pass control regime.  

 

2 July

Russian President Vladimir Putin is already one of the world's longest-serving leaders, and on Wednesday, voters paved the way for him to rule the country until 2036. Early referendum results showed overwhelming support for Putin's proposed constitutional reforms, including one that resets the clock on the President's term limit. Should he win the 2024 election and the next one, six years later, Putin could cling onto power until he is 84, pushing his reign to more than 36 years. For more information read CNN report.

 

1 July

President Armen Sarkissian has voiced serious objections to a government bill that will sharply increase property taxes in Armenia while agreeing to sign it into law. In a statement released late on Tuesday, the presidential press office said Sarkissian believes the bill passed by the Armenian parliament last week is “untimely” given the continuing coronavirus crisis in the country and its dire socioeconomic consequences. “Even if the law is not going to be immediately enforced [in full,] the moral-psychological consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and resulting financial and economic problems will be felt for a long time,” it said. The statement added that Sarkissian signed the bill only because it does not seem to contradict the Armenian constitution. It noted that “unfortunately” the constitution does not allow the largely ceremonial head of state to veto bills or send them back to the National Assembly for further discussion. For more information read RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).

 

30 June 

REUERS reported, Armenia’s economy will contract by 4% in 2020 due to the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but is expected to recover and grow 5.5% next year, Martin Galstyan, the country’s central bank head, said on Tuesday. The central bank had previously forecast a contraction of 0.7% this year after growth of 7.6% in 2019. The worst-affected sectors of the economy are services and construction as well as international tourism, Galstyan said while presenting the bank’s quarterly inflation report. Inflation is expected to be around 1.9% in 2020. Armenia’s consumer price index declined 0.1% in May month-on-month, but rose 1.2% year-on-year. In the report, the bank said the amount of private remittances would decline by 22-25% this year due to the drop in oil prices in Russia, Armenia’s main trade partner, and Moscow’s ban on migrant workers during the pandemic. However, it said that would not have a significant impact on GDP. 

 

29 June

NEWS.am reported, the task force set up by Prosperous Armenia Party, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun political party and Homeland Party has issued the following statement: “Tomorrow, on June 30, Prosperous Armenia Party, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun political party and Homeland Party will report a crime to the Prosecutor General’s Office of Armenia, with the demand to institute a criminal case in regard to facts of particularly grave offenses committed by against legislators and other top officials. On June 30 at 10 a.m. the authorized representatives of the political parties will deliver the joint report of the three political parties on a crime to the Prosecutor General’s Office of Armenia by hand. The political parties invite media representatives to come to the entrance of the Prosecutor General’s Office at the same hour in order to receive details about the facts and legal justifications underlying the report on the crime.” 

 

27 June

The European People's Party (EPP) regrets that Armenia’s ruling majority passed the constitutional amendments running counter to the recommendations of the Venice Commission, said PANORAMA.am. “EPP regrets that the ruling majority in Armenia has voted on the proposal for constitutional amendments in spite of the Venice Commission underscoring that it is not in line with its recommendations,” the party said on Twitter. In another tweet, EPP expressed hope that Armenia, by reforming the country, will strengthen cooperation with the Venice Commission and strengthen the rule of law, democratic standards and protect the independence of the judiciary.

 

Sources: https://news.am/eng/, https://www.azatutyun.am/en, https://www.aravot-en.am/, https://www.panorama.am/en/, https://www.tert.am/en/, https://edition.cnn.com/, https://www.reuters.com/.

19 July 2020
12 July 2020
05 July 2020
28 June 2020
21 June 2020
14 June 2020
07 June 2020
31 May 2020

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies

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