by Nana Martirosyan
Constitutional Court's verdict on the pension reform is not clear to either Armenia's Ombudsman Karen Andreasyan or his 40 lawyers, the human rights defender told reporters, Tuesday.
"Combination of the contradictory provisions of the verdict is, to put it mildly, not clear either to me or to the 40 lawyers working at my office. The provision No.6 says that the mandatory component is unconstitutional, meanwhile the provision No.7 leaves it in force till 30 September," Karen Andreasyan said. According to him, in the period when the Law on the Mandatory Accumulative Pension was suspended, he exactly knew what to do. However, he finds it hard to answer the questions of citizens.
The human rights defender said that the statements by the members of the Constitutional Court were contradictory and many lawyers think the verdict is inaccurate and contains many disputable provisions.
"The Constitutional Court's verdict must not need any comments or explanations," the ombudsman said.
On April 2 the Constitutional Court (CC) of Armenia cancelled the mandatory component of the accumulative pension system. Head of the Constitutional Court of Armenia Gagik Haroutiunyan read out the CC's 64-page verdict on 2 April. The Constitutional Court adopted a decision to recognize the law null and void in the parts that infringe the citizen's right to manage his own salary. The CC has recognized invalid all the disputable articles of the law, as they are interconnected. The CC has announced 30 September the deadline for the Government and the Parliament to bring the law in line with the requirements made. The decision of the CC comes into force at the moment of announcement.
However, Felix Tokhyan, a member of the Constitutional Court, says the Law on the Mandatory Accumulative Pension System will be valid till 30 September, and the citizens are reluctant to continue making pension payments to the accumulative funds.
Meanwhile, a number of lawyers and opposition politicians consider that after the Constitutional Court's verdict the employers and employees no longer have to make pension payments. Moreover, they say that from now on the payments will be made on the voluntary basis only.