ABOUT PARLIAMENT

 

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARTSAKH (NAGORNO KARABAKH)

PROCLAMATION OF THE NAGORNO-KARABAKH REPUBLIC

 

On September 2, 1991, a joint session of the Councils of People's Deputies of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast and Shahumyan Region was held with the participation of Deputies of all levels.

Guided by the decisions of the sessions of the Regional Council of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast on the withdrawal of the autonomous region from the Azerbaijani SSR, adopted on February 20, June 21 and July 12, 1988; as well as considering the Declaration of the Supreme Council of the Azerbaijani SSR of August 30, 1991 "On Restoring the State Independence of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan of 1918-1920", and taking as a basis the relevant provision of the Constitution of the USSR, the session proclaimed the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

Before the formation of government bodies, the administration of the Republic was vested on the Executive Committee of the Regional Council, headed by its Chairman Leonard Petrosyan.

 

REFERENDUM ON THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE NKR

 

On December 10, 1991 a referendum on the independence of the NKR was held in accordance with the "Provisional Rules for Holding a Referendum in the NKR."

In the referendum, which took place in the 81 constituency formed in the territory of the NKR, out of 132,328 citizens entitled to vote and included in the voter lists, 108,736 (82.2%) citizens took part. The majority of citizens who did not take part in the voting were residents of Azerbaijani settlements.

 

THE NKR SUPREME COUNCIL OF THE 1ST CONVOCATION

 

On December 28, 1991, in accordance with the will of the people expressed in the referendum on independence of December 10, 1991,  elections of people's deputies to the supreme body of state power - the NKR Supreme Council of the 1st convocation were held.

In addition to the main elections, on January 11, 1992, additional elections were held. Taking into account the fact that not all the constituencies were elected, the Central Election Commission of the NKR held new elections at various times, up to July 3, 1994. As a result, the Parliament consisting of 75 deputies was formed.

The powers of the NKR Supreme Council of the 1st convocation were set for a period of 5 years. With the formation of the legislative body, a parliamentary form of government was established in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.

The NKR Supreme Council of the 1st convocation convened its first session on January 6-8, 1992, electing the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the NKR, the Secretary of the Supreme Council and appointing the Chairman of the NKR Council of Ministers.

Arthur Mkrtchyan was elected Chairman of the NKR Supreme Council, and Vladik Hakobyan – Secretary of the Supreme Council.

By the decision of the first session of the NKR Supreme Council, Oleg Yesayan was appointed Chairman of the NKR Council of Ministers.

The bodies of the Supreme Council of the 1st convocation were: the Chairman of the Supreme Council, the Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council, the Secretary of the Supreme Council, People's Deputies, and Standing Committees of the Supreme Council.

The following factions and groups were formed in the Supreme Council: ARF "Dashnaktsutyun", which initially comprised 27 members, as of 1994 - 35 members (speaker - Levon Melik-Shahnazaryan); the parliamentary group "Popular Front of Artsakh" - 2 members; "Group from Martakert" - 18 members (Head - Vahan Gabrielyan, Secretary - Nerses Ohanjanyan); "Miatsum" group - 19 members (Speaker - Robert Kocharyan), neutral members - 4 people, soldiery - 13 people.

During the years of war, provoked by Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh, 11 deputies of the NKR Supreme Council of the first convocation died, including Arthur Mkrtchyan (Chairman of the Supreme Council), Vagharshak Harutyunyan, Vagif Galstyan, Zhora Poghosyan, Boris Hakobyan, Norayr Danielyan, Barmen Grigoryan, Suren Tsatryan, Boris Babayan, Shahen Meghrian, Vigen Grigoryan.

By the Decree of the Presidium of the NKR Supreme Council of the 1st convocation of April 14, 1992, the duties of the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the NKR were temporarily assigned to the Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council Georgy Petrosyan.

On August 15, 1992 the Presidium of the NKR Supreme Council adopted a decree on the establishment of the State Defense Committee, which fully delegated the powers of the executive branch and, in part, the powers of the legislature. By the same decree, Robert Kocharyan, a member of the Supreme Council of the NKR, was appointed Chairman of the NKR State Defense Committee.

By the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the NKR of the 1st convocation of August 15, 1992, the resignation of Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Oleg Yesayan was accepted; and by the decree of the Presidium of the NKR Supreme Council of the 1st convocation dated June 14, 1993 - the resignation of the Acting Chairman of the Supreme Council of the NKR, Georgy Petrosyan. By the same decree, the duties of the Acting Chairman of the NKR Supreme Council were assigned to the first Deputy Chairman of the NKR Supreme Council Karen Baburyan.

By the resolution of the NKR Supreme Council of December 21, 1994, the presidential system of government was introduced in the NKR.

By the resolution of the NKR Supreme Council of December 22, the Chairman of the NKR State Defense Committee Robert Kocharyan was elected President of the NKR for a term of two years.

On December 22, 1994, the NKR Supreme Council of the 1st convocation adopted the NKR Law "On Parliament", which was to come into force from the moment of election of the permanent functioning parliament.

Considering the necessity of having a permanent parliament in the conditions of a new system of government, the Supreme Council of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic adopted a resolution on holding early elections of People's Deputies.

Instead of the 81st electoral district, 33 electoral districts were formed in the territory of the Republic; the number of seats for MPs was also changed.

During the years of its activity, the NKR Supreme Council of the first convocation passed 22 laws.

 

THE NKR PARLIAMENT (NATIONAL ASSEMBLY) OF THE 2ND CONVOCATION

 

On April 30, 1995 elections to the NKR Parliament took place, which were organized by the majoritarian electoral system. Elections were held in 31 constituencies out of 33, and in two constituencies the vote did not take place due to self-rejection of single candidates. By the decision of the CEC of the NKR of May 5, 1995, 23 deputies were registered.

On June 30, 1995, new elections were held in five constituencies.

On June 23, 1995, at the first sitting of the NKR Parliament, Karen Baburyan was elected Chairman of the NKR Parliament; Laurent Gabrielyan - Deputy Chairman; and Emma Gabrielyan - the Secretary.

On March 12, 1996, Lavrent Gabrielyan was released from his duties as Deputy Chairman of the NKR Parliament.

On April 9, 1996 Boris Arushanyan was elected Deputy Chairman of the Parliament of the NKR. On September 16, 1996, he was relieved of his duties as Deputy Chairman of the NKR Parliament.

The Parliament of the NKR consisted of the following bodies: the Chairman of the Parliament, the Deputy Chairman, the Secretary of the Parliament, and six Standing Committees. Each committee consisted of five deputies, one of whom was the Chairman of the Committee; one - the secretary.

On March 12, 1996, at the plenary session of the NKR Parliament the resignation of the Chairman of the Parliament of the NKR, Karen Baburyan, was accepted. The MP Arthur Tovmasyan was elected Chairman of the NKR Parliament.

By another resolution of the Parliament of the NKR, adopted on the same day, the legislature moved to work on a semi-permanent basis. It was established that the Chairman of Parliament, the Deputy Chairman, the Secretary of the Parliament, chairmen and secretaries of the Standing Committees were to work on a permanent basis.

By the decision of the NKR Parliament of March 19, 1996, the NKR Parliament was renamed the National Assembly. On September 4, 1997, the National Assembly of the 2nd convocation accepted the resignation of the Chairman of the NKR National Assembly Arthur Tovmasyan.

On December 2, 1996 Oleg Yesayan was elected Chairman of the National Assembly of the NKR.

By the order of the Chairman of the NKR National Assembly of December 31, 1997, the Secretary of the NKR National Assembly Emma Gabrielyan was appointed Deputy Chairman.

Over the years of its activity, the NKR National Assembly of the second convocation adopted 167 laws: the Land and Water Codes of the NKR, a number of legislative acts concerning tax legislation and reforms in the judicial and legal system, etc.

On November 24, 1996, presidential elections were held by popular vote, and Robert Kocharyan became the first President of the NKR.

In connection with the appointment of the incumbent NKR President to the position of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, the special elections of the head of state were needed.

Following the results of the extraordinary presidential elections, held on September 1, 1997, Arkady Ghukasyan was elected President of the NKR.

 

THE NKR NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE 3RD CONVOCATION

 

The elections to the NKR National Assembly of the third convocation were held on June 18, 2000. They were conducted by the majoritarian electoral system, in all 33 constituencies.

On July 10, 2000, at the first sitting of the NKR National Assembly of the third convocation, Oleg Yesayan was re-elected Chairman of the National Assembly of the NKR; and Mushegh Ohanjanyan - Deputy Chairman.

The composition of the NKR National Assembly of the third convocation was multi-party and mainly represented the political arena of the Republic. Twenty members of the Union of Democratic Artsakh (SDA), nine members of the Artsakh body of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation “Dashnaktsutyun” (ARF), one member of “Armenakan Artsakh”, one member of the Social Democratic Party of Artsakh, as well as nonpartisans were elected MPs. Six members of the National Assembly had the status of an independent Deputy.

On August 11, 2002, regular presidential elections were held in NKR; Arkady Ghukasyan was re-elected President of the Republic.

Over the years of its activity, the NKR National Assembly of the 3rd convocation passed 329 laws.

 

THE NKR NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE 4TH CONVOCATION

 

On June 19, 2005, elections to the National Assembly of the fourth convocation of the Republic were held by proportional and majoritarian electoral systems. Elections for the majoritarian electoral system were held in all 22 constituencies.

On June 30, 2005 at the first meeting of the National Assembly of the NKR of the 4th convocation Ashot Ghoulyan was elected Chairman of the NKR National Assembly, and Rudik Hyusnunts - as Deputy Chairman.

At the plenary sitting – held on November 1, 2006 – the NKR National Assembly, with an absolute majority of votes (29 for, 1 against and 1 abstention), decided to give consent to the drafting of the NKR Constitution.

On December 10, 2006, the NKR Constitution was adopted in a nationwide referendum.

On July 19, 2007 the next presidential elections were held, and Bako Sahakyan was elected President of the NKR.

Because of the termination of the powers of some MPs of the National Assembly – who were appointed to the posts in the executive bodies in 2007-2008 – the composition of the National Assembly was changed. Four new MPs joined the National Assembly, two of whom were elected following the results of additional elections conducted by the majoritarian system (electoral districts No. 4 and No. 15), and two - by proportional electoral system.

The National Assembly of the fourth convocation had six Standing Committees: the Committee of Foreign Relations, the Committee for Production and Industrial Infrastructures, the Committee on Finance, Budget and Economic Management, the Committee on State and Legal Affairs, the Committee on Social Affairs, the Committee on Defense, Security and Law Enforcement.

Taking into account the constitutional requirement and the NKR Law "On the NKR Control Chamber", at the end of 2007 the powers of the Control Chamber of the NKR National Assembly were terminated; instead of it, in early 2008 a separate body exercising state control - the NKR Control Chamber - began to work.

The National Assembly of the 4th convocation of the NKR continued to work on a semi-permanent basis. The Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly, the chairmen and deputy chairmen of the six standing committees were working on a permanent basis.

In the National Assembly of the 4th convocation, two parliamentary factions were initially formed: the faction of the Democratic Party of Artsakh - "Democracy" (16 people), the faction of the party "Free Motherland" - "Motherland" (12 people) and one deputy group - block "ARF-Movement-88" (3 people), 2 people had the status of an independent Deputy. Starting from May 2007 the deputy group "ARF-Movement-88" was reorganized into a faction consisting of three, and from October 2007 - from 2 people.

The second regrouping of the political forces took place in the National Assembly of the 4th convocation. At the plenary sitting of the National Assembly held on February 18, 2009, the “Artsakhatun” parliamentary group was created. It was composed of five former members of the "Democracy" faction. Four MPs had the status of independent Deputies in the NKR National Assembly.

The 2006 Constitution of the NKR significantly expanded the sphere of competence of the legislative body of the state - the National Assembly of the NKR. The first results of the reforms envisaged by the country's Basic Law were the appointment of the NKR Prime Minister on September 14, 2007 with the consent of the Parliament; the election of the NKR Human Rights Defender on April 16, 2008; the appointment of the Chairman of the NKR Supreme Court on October 17, 2007; the appointment of the NKR Prosecutor General on December 19, 2007; the appointment of the Chairman of the NKR Control Chamber on December 26, 2007; the appointment of a judge of the NKR Supreme Court on April 16, 2008; the appointment of two lawyer-members of the NKR Justice Council on March 25, 2009.

On February 20, 2010, in commemoration of the 22nd  anniversary of the Karabakh movement and the Day of the Revival of Artsakh, a solemn meeting was held in the National Assembly, attended by Deputies of the NKAO Regional Council of the 20th convocation; who had participated in the 1988 February 20th session; deputies of the parliaments of all convocations of the NKR, the leader of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church, representatives of the executive and judicial-legal authorities, as well as the command staff of the NKR Defense Army.

Having expressed its position on internal political and foreign policy developments in the Republic, the National Assembly of the NKR of the 4th convocation, as well as political forces represented in the Parliament, made a number of statements.

The National Assembly of the 4th convocation of the NKR adopted 421 laws.

 

THE NKR NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE 5TH CONVOCATION

 

On May 23, 2010 elections to the National Assembly of the 5th convocation were held with the new quotas for seats of the proportional and majoritarian systems: 17 proportional and 16 majoritarian (the quotas of the previous elections were 11 to 22, respectively).

On June 10, 2010 at the first sitting of the first session of the NKR National Assembly of the 5th convocation, Ashot Ghoulyan was re-elected as Chairman of the NKR National Assembly, and Arthur Tovmasyan - as Deputy Chairman.

The following Standing Committees were operating in the NKR National Assembly of the 5th convocation: Committee on Foreign Affairs (Chairman - Vahram Atanesyan), Committee on Production and Industrial Infrastructures (Chairman - Vladimir Kasyan), Committee  on Finance, Budget and Economic Management (Chairman - Arpat Avanesyan), Committee on State and Legal Affairs (Chairman - Gagik Petrosyan), Committee on Social Issues (Chairperson - Zoya Lazaryan), Committee on Defense, Security and Law Enforcement (Chairperson - Zhanna Galstyan), Committee on Science, Education, Culture, Sport and Youth (Chairman - Armen Sargsyan).

Later, the composition of the National Assembly underwent some changes. On September 19, 2012, elected by the majoritarian system MPs Zoya Lazaryan and Vladimir Kasyan, who held the posts of chairpersons of the Standing Committees on Social Affairs, and Production and Industrial Infrastructures early suspended their powers in connection with the appointment to another job in the executive bodies.

On December 23 of the same year additional NA elections were held in the majoritarian districts No.10 and 15, according to which Hrant Safaryan and Nelson Minasyan were elected Members of Parliament. At an extraordinary session of the National Assembly on January 9, 2013, Deputy Hrant Safaryan was elected Chairman of the Standing Committee on Production and Industrial Infrastructure, and Aram Grigoryan, Deputy Chairman of the Standing Committee on Social and Healthcare Affairs - Chairman of the same committee. MP Arevik Petrosyan was elected Deputy Chairman of the Standing Committee on Social and Healthcare Affairs.

In the National Assembly of the 5th convocation, three parliamentary factions were formed: “Motherland” (14 members), “Democracy” (10 members), “Dashnaktsutyun” (6 members); and parliamentary group “Artsakhatun” (3 members).

Starting with the 6th session of the National Assembly, "Dashnaktsutyun" faction acted with two members. Since then, there were two independent MPS in the National Assembly.

In the National Assembly of the 5th convocation, only the Chairman of the National Assembly, the Deputy Chairman, Chairmen of the Standing Committees and their Deputies worked on a permanent basis.

On September 15, 2010, the National Assembly of the 5th convocation, in accordance with the candidates recommended by the head of state, appointed a new Chairman of the NKR Supreme Court; on March 23, 2011, on April 26, 2012, and on November 29, 2012 - judges of the NKR Supreme Court.

On July 19, 2012, regular presidential elections took place, following which Bako Sahakyan was re-elected as President of the Republic.

In continuation of the formed traditions, the National Assembly of the 5th convocation, its structures and political forces represented in the Parliament consistently expressed their positions regarding domestic and external political developments of the Republic.

One of the major achievements of the National Assembly of the fifth convocation was the institutionalization of friendly relations with parliaments of other states. On February 26, 2013 a group of Lithuanian Seimas MPs decided to establish a friendship group with the Republic of Artsakh in the Lithuanian Seimas. On March 20 of the same year, the Artsakh-Lithuania Friendship Group was established in the National Assembly of the NKR.

The creation on March 19, 2013 of the "France-Artsakh" Friendship Circle strengthened the correct vector of development of parliamentary ties. On October 16, 2014, the EU-NKR Friendship Group was established in the European Parliament.

In general, over the years of the activities of the National Assembly of the 5th convocation, 97 parliamentarians, politicians, representatives of international and non-governmental organizations from 24 countries visited the Parliament of Artsakh.

The National Assembly of the 5th convocation passed 440 laws.

 

THE NKR NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF THE 6TH CONVOCATION

 

On May 3, 2015 elections to the NKR National Assembly of the 6th convocation were held by new quotas for parliamentarian seats: 22 proportional and 11 majoritarian.

At the first sitting of the first session of the National Assembly of the new convocation – held on May 21, 2015 – Ashot Ghoulyan was re-elected as Chairman of the Parliament, and Vahram Balayan - as Deputy Chairman.

The Standing Committees of the NA of the sixth convocation are the followings: Committee on Foreign Relations (Chairperson - Arzik Mkhitaryan), Committee on Production and Industrial Infrastructures (Chairman - Arpat Avanesyan), Committee on Finance, Budget and Economic Management (Chairman - Ruslan Israelyan), Committee on State and Legal Affairs (Chairman - Hovik Jivanyan), Committee on Social Affairs and Healthcare (Chairman - Aram Grigoryan), Committee on Defense, Security and Law Enforcement (Chairperson - Zhanna Galstyan), Committee on Science, Education, Culture, Sport and Youth (Chairman - Armen Sargsyan).

In the National Assembly of the 6th convocation, five factions were formed: the “Motherland” (15 members), the “Dashnaktsutyun” faction (7 members), the “Democracy” faction (6 members), the “Movement-88 faction” (3 members), the "Renaissance” faction (1 member) and 1 independent MP.

The following friendship groups were established and reorganized in the Parliament: the “Republic of Artsakh - Republic of Lithuania” Friendship Group, the “Republic of Artsakh –European Parliament” Friendship Group, the “Karabakh – France” Friendship Circle, and the Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Commission between the National Assembly of the Republic of Artsakh and the National Assembly of the Republic Armenia.

The National Assembly of the 6th convocation acts on a permanent basis.