by Tatevik Shahunyan
There is no vital problem of the country which the present Constitution hinders to settle, the second president of Armenia, Robert Kocharyan, said in an interview with the 2rd.am portal, when touching on the Constitutional reforms initiated by President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan. "The first question that arose was - has such a reform escalated? How much does the Constitution hinder the authorities to adequately react at challenges? I can say for sure - no it has not", - Kocharyan said. He emphasized that there is no external pressure in the matter of the constitutional reforms either, conditioned by any lack of conformity between the Constitution and the standard democratic norms. "Moreover, the public mood has no escalated expectations from the constitutional reforms", - he said and added that just the authorities have initiated the reforms, but the explanations voiced by them are worthless and extremely muzzy. This caused doubt in the society regarding the true objectives of the offered reforms.
Kocharyan thinks that the current situation is absolutely different from the one before the reform in 2005. "Then the Constitution contained great privileges for the president's institution to the detriment of the parliament and government. Moreover, the president was forming the judicial power as well. All the decisions of the government were ratified by the president, and president used to charge the premier to hold the Cabinet meetings. In fact, the president had a sole right to dissolve the parliament. In fact, fundamental democratic ideas on separation of powers and balance between their branches were distorted", - he said.
That time the constitutional reform became an escalated problem of the political agenda of the country and became an obligation on Armenia's joining the Council of Europe. So, that time, the three important circumstances for reforming of the Constitution congregated - understanding of the fact that the Constitution does not meet democratic norms, public expectations from the necessity of reforms and the obligations against the CE", - Kocharyan said.
He also added that today we have none of these factors. Nevertheless, even in such congregation of factors, that time the opposition doubted about the true intentions of the president. "They thought that I was doing that for keeping the power and becoming the president for the third term or for occupation of the position of the premier. Despite all my numerous statements that I will never do that, I did not manage to overpersuade my opponents, By the way, I was as good as my word and left without clinging to any positions", - Kocharyan said. But now they offer radical changing of the model of the state government and we need guarantees that the reform is not directed at serving the interests of the ruling elite and will not become a tool for its reproduction, he said.
"Any reformation of the Constitution because of the current goals of politicians is evidence of political degradation of the country. The core of the Constitution and the constitutional right in general is to limit such motivation of politicians through establishment of the long-lasting fundamental rules in the country management sector, as well as rights and freedoms of citizens", - Kocharyan said and added frequent reforming of the Constitution are doubtful.
'I do not mean changing of any clauses of the current Constitution, which is a normal improvement process through adaptation. I mean the problem of frequent changes in the state management system. Fulfillment of such changes requires great expenses of the organizational resource of the authorities. Moreover, the society is inert and needs much to get used to such changes. The power institutions themselves need a long period for adaptation. I think that many problems have been accumulated in the country and the power could concentrate on their settlement. To be short, the Constitution should be reformed only in case if it must not but be reformed", - the second president of Armenia concluded.