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Pashinyan Calls for a New Constitution on Armenia's Constitution Day

Nikol Pashinyan

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has used the occasion of Constitution Day to call for the adoption of a new constitution that the people of Armenia would consider their own creation. On July 5, Armenia celebrates Constitution Day, marking the 29th anniversary of its current constitution, adopted in a 1995 referendum.  

Pashinyan’s Message

In his congratulatory message, Pashinyan addressed the citizens of Armenia, emphasizing the importance of the Constitution, which he referred to as the "mother law" or "basic law." He explained that the Constitution is fundamental because it serves as the foundation for all other laws in a country, and it is usually adopted through a popular vote, giving the people the power to accept or reject it.

Pashinyan noted the significance of the Constitution as a collective agreement among citizens about the rules, rights, and responsibilities of living in their country. He stressed that the current Constitution is in deep socio-psychological conflict with the Armenian people, as they do not feel it represents their understanding and agreement about the rules of living with their neighbors, community, and fellow citizens.

The Prime Minister stated that Armenia needs a new Constitution that the people will consider as their creation, reflecting their ideas about the state and the relationships between people and citizens within it. He emphasized the need for a new method of creating and adopting the Constitution, one that is organically connected with the people.

Pashinyan pointed out that this topic is widely debated both internally and externally. He called for a continued effort to strengthen Armenia and make it invulnerable institutionally, psychologically, and physically. He urged the citizens to focus on serving the state interest of Armenia, which is the interest of the sovereign people of Armenia.

External Pressures and Opposition

Pashinyan's call for a new Constitution comes following ongoing demands from Azerbaijan for constitutional changes in Armenia. Azerbaijani leaders, including President Ilham Aliyev, have made it clear that signing a peace treaty with Armenia is conditional on these changes. They specifically want Armenia to remove a constitutional reference to a 1990 declaration of independence, which cites a 1989 unification act adopted by Soviet Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast (Republic of Artsakh).

In response to these demands, Pashinyan has taken steps toward drafting a new constitution. In late May, he ordered the formation of an ad hoc body to draft a new constitution by the end of 2026. Armenian opposition leaders and critics have accused Pashinyan of bowing to Azerbaijani demands, but he and his political allies deny this.


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