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Three reasons to say “No”
Serzh Sargsyan initiated constitutional changes solely for one main reason – in order to keep his regime in control. Article 50 of the current constitution forbids Sargsyan to run for the presidency a third time. He needed to circumvent this restriction, thus the need to change the constitution. Sargsyan is attempting to undermine the foundations of constitutional order, to adopt a new constitution, so that he can permanently remain in control. In effect, Armenia’s constitution is being changed at the behest of one man. Thus, we must all vote “No” in the December 6 referendum and put a stop to such folly. The constitution must serve the interests of all Armenia’s citizens.
If the referendum to change Armenia’s constitution passes, the negative aspects of Serzh Sargsyan’s regime will just get worse. During his tenure as president, Armenia’s economy has drastically shrunk. The number of those living in poverty has grown from 26% in 2008 to 36% in 2014. Some 250,000 individuals have left Armenia. If the referendum passes, Serzh Sargsyan will remain in control, resulting in a further shrinking of the economy, greater poverty, and more people leaving the country. During Sargsyan’s reign, Armenia’s national security system has gotten weaker, as evidenced by greater Armenian casualties along the border and an escalation of tensions.
If the constitutional change referendum is defeated, Serzh Sargsyan attempt to remain in power will be blocked. Instead, a path towards true change and positive development will be opened. By saying “no”, you are saying “no” to continued corruption and plunder, to violence and illegality. At the same time, you are saying “yes” to better living conditions, positive change, to democracy and basic freedoms.
I oppose the changes because Armenia will then never have a president capable of achieving fundamental change in the country. Instead, Serzh Sargsyan will remain. He will leave the presidential palace at 26 Baghramyan Avenue, but he’ll continue to rule via the Republican Party, turning into the Armenian Brezhnev.
I oppose constitutional change for two reasons. First, the illegitimate regime, which violates constitutional order, must go rather than change the constitution to suit its own interests. Second, by changing it, the regime merely seeks to demean the constitution, transforming it into something lacking credibility and trustworthiness.
If the proposed constitution is adopted, Armenia will become a one party state in which diversity of opinion will be permitted purely for show. I was born in a one party state, and I do not wish to continue living in one.
I haven’t read the constitutional change draft bill. And I don’t want to. I say “no’ because constitutional change (reform?) is being proposed by a regime established with the blood of ten innocent individuals. No one has been held accountable for March 1, 2008. So what are we talking about?
Give the absence of any argument for constitutional change and a political consensus, this process has been forced upon us. The appointment of Gagik Haroutyunyan as president of the committee drafting the bill was a violation of the principle of separation of powers. The entire process is undemocratic.
Artur SakuntsLegal rights advocate
I, as a lawyer and legal rights advocate, can state and categorically argue that the draft bill will severely curtail human rights and freedoms. It can lead to tragic consequences. This is sufficient for me to vote against constitutional change.
Hayk AloumyanLegal rights advocate
Representatives from a number of political movements/parties will also participate in and address the public rally organized by the No...
The No Pasaran initiative strongly condemns yesterday’s illegal detention by the police of 21 individuals demonstrating outside the National Assembly...