The Bill on Making Amendments to the Constitution Debated at the Regular Sitting
31 October 2019

October 31, the regular sitting of the Republic of Artsakh National Assembly was held.

At the beginning of the sitting NA President Ashot Ghoulyan on behalf of Parliament thanked the authors of the Armenian Genocide Resolution adopted by the US House of Representatives on October 29 - the Congressmen who voted for it, Armenian organizations. Congratulating everyone he said:

"We can say that we have had a historical success and what is no less important; this success has been achieved through teamwork and years of consistent work.”

The first item on the agenda was the request by the Renaissance faction to the government. Finance Minister Artur Harutyunyan presented the response by the executive.

Then the parliament debated and adopted in the second reading the Law of the Republic of Artsakh "On Petitions" with the attached package.

The next legislative bill concerned the Draft Laws "On Amendments to the “Law on Property Tax" and Related Laws "On Amendments and Addenda to the “Law on Land Tax". Presenting the projects, the Minister of Finance of the Republic of Artsakh noted that in accordance with the norms of the current legislation it is suggested to set a privilege for the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church on exemption from liabilities on churches that do not have a monument status, spiritual-cultural, educational and ecclesiastical, and buildings and structures used for the production and sale of ritual accessories calculated tax on property tax and land tax required for their maintenance and use, as well as exemption from liabilities arising on property tax and land tax until January 1, 2019.

Despite the negative opinion of the Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs, the parliament has also decided to include in the sitting agenda the draft law "On Making Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Artsakh" submitted to the National Assembly by the authorized representative of the initiative group, Vladimir Poghosyan.

With a draft of constitutional amendments it is proposed to amend Article 48, parts 2 and 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Artsakh by granting the citizens of the Republic of Armenia the right to be a candidate for the President of the Republic of Artsakh and a candidate for a National Assembly deputy, and to reduce the electoral censure of permanent residence by making 10 years to 3 years for the presidential candidate and 3 years instead of 5 years for the MP candidate.

Co-report has been made by Hovik Jivanyan, Chairman of the Parliamentary Head Commission and Minister of Justice Ararat Danielyan presented the point of view of the government. Parliamentarians Ruslan Israelyan, Robert Ghahramanyan, Gegham Stepanyan, David Ishkhanyan, Gagik Baghunts, Eduard Aghabekyan, Vardges Baghryan, Arpat Avanesyan came up with an exchange of ideas. In accordance with the procedure prescribed by the NA Rules of Procedure the opportunity to talk has been given to the invited Rafik Martirosyan.

The Chairmen of the "Renaissance" faction Hayk Khanumyan, "Dashnaktsutyun" faction Armen Sargsyan and "Motherland" faction Arthur Tovmasyan presented the positions of the factions on the issue. The Head of the National Assembly Ashot Ghoulyan made a speech with the right of extraordinary speech.

With 4 for, 24 against and 1 abstention, the project has been rejected.

At the end of the sitting, Ramela Dadayan and Gagik Baghunts made parliamentary statements.