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Armenian MP Raises Alarm Over Drastic Decline in Conscripts, Proposes Controversial Draft Law

Armenian MP Raises Alarm Over Drastic Decline in Conscripts, Proposes Controversial Draft Law

Hayk Sargsyan, an MP representing the ruling party Civil Contract Faction in the National Assembly of Armenia, has voiced deep concerns over a significant decrease in the number of conscripts in Armenia, highlighting a 44% drop over nine years. Sargsyan's remarks came during a press conference where he presented disturbing statistics, indicating a consistent decline in the number of Armenian citizens fulfilling mandatory military service obligations.

"Year by year, our conscription figures have been dwindling, raising significant concerns. Over the past 15 years, there has been a consistent decline in the number of conscripts, indicating a worrying trend," stated Sargsyan, underlining the decreasing participation in military service.

Sargsyan clarified the reasons behind the decline, stating that some citizens opt out of serving in the Armenian army by leaving the country or renouncing their Armenian citizenship. This trend has contributed to the dwindling numbers of conscripts annually.

Providing data from 2010 to 2019, Sargsyan revealed a staggering decline in conscription figures. "In 2010, Armenia had over 44 thousand conscripts. Over the subsequent nine years, that number plummeted by 44%, reducing the count to 24 thousand," he explained, emphasizing the severity of the decline in a relatively short span.

Addressing concerns about a proposed draft law potentially encouraging emigration, Sargsyan defended the legislation. The draft law, introduced by Sargsyan, proposes allowing male Armenian citizens aged 27, who haven't fulfilled mandatory military service, to pay 15 million drams to evade criminal liability. Additionally, it outlines alternative options such as paying 2.5 million drams and serving for a year, 5 million drams for a six-month service, or 10 million drams for just one month of service in the Armenian army.

Responding to criticism that the draft law might induce citizens to leave Armenia as children, Sargsyan dismissed the notion, highlighting the challenges and consequences of being wanted by Armenia for a decade, deeming it a difficult prospect for most individuals.

Critics have raised concerns that such legislation could further diminish the country's military readiness and perpetuate a decline in the number of conscripts.

The proposal has ignited a contentious debate within Armenian society, with discussions revolving around national security, the rights of citizens, and the impact of such laws on the country's armed forces. As Armenia grapples with a declining number of conscripts, the debate over the proposed law is expected to intensify in the coming days within the political landscape and broader society.


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