“With this bill, the regime wants to manage generational change” – Gemafin Gasparyan

There are many reasons to say ‘no’ to constitutional change – lessening of citizen participation in state governance, restrictions on human rights and freedoms, and the fact that socio-economic rights heretofore provided by the state(health, social security, job selection, etc.) will no longer be constitutionally protected. These and other clauses have been presented better by experts, especially in Boon TV programs. 

Gemafin Gasparyan
Gemafin Gasparyan

I want to talk about the possibility of accountability and positive change. One of the main conditions of effective governance is the balance between decision-making and the accountability that derives from the results of those decisions. In the bill, the balance between the different wings of those in power regarding rights, obligations and responsibility is disrupted and in reality the decision-maker (the supreme body, leader, of the party enjoying a permanent majority in the National Assembly), assumes no accountability for the results; not even in the formal sense. Logically, this will lead to collective unaccountability of the governance system. 

Generational change is taking place, and no matter how much administrative/economic resources are consolidated under one political structure, independent groups are formed, the regime’s continuance gets more difficult. It’s only a matter of time for these groups to take shape and present a public petition. Today’s authorities still have a great administrative/economic reservoir of resources. I believe that with this bill the regime wants to control generational change. The authorities are looking to bequeath power to their children; the youth wing of the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). 

Some argue that the HHK faces no problem in preserving its grip on power in the upcoming election. Let’s assume it doesn’t. But Serzh Sargsyan cannot remain president. He faces a problem of maintain control. The problem of who will inherit that power is still up in the air. There is no agreement within the various factions of the HHK as to who will be the next president (within the context of the current constitution). 

Thus, in order to open up internal competition, both in terms of politics and economics, within the HHK, one must say ‘no’ to constitutional change given that they are still asking.