PM Nikol Pashinyan’s Congratulatory Message on Constitution Day
Proud citizens of the Republic of Armenia,
Today we are marking Constitution Day in Armenia, and I congratulate all of us on this occasion. However, it is necessary to honestly state that although we all understand the importance of the Constitution in terms of building state institutions, streamlining public and state relations, this holiday implies some half-heartedness and raises specific misgivings.
Three times in the history of the Third Republic of Armenia our people adopted a new Constitution or constitutional amendments by referendum. However, the results of none of those referendums were not considered trustworthy by society. The citizens of Armenia did not consider the decisions on adopting or amending the Constitution, nor did they consider the Constitutions so adopted as their own.
This is the biggest systemic flaw in our state structure, because the Constitution should be an agreement of citizens on citizen to citizen and state-citizen relations. Consequently, the state system should be supported by the collective will of all citizens, which should become a factor guaranteeing the inviolability of statehood, evidence of citizens’ responsibility for the fate of the state, and an expression of citizens’ will to have a state.
The analysis of a number of events, especially in the recent period, has led me to the conclusion that the citizens of Armenia often do not consider the country’s state system as their property, do not see an organic connection of this system with their will. Although my position was that frequent changes to the Constitution subject the state system to inappropriate stress, constant changes to the Constitution lead to uncertainty, the realization of the circumstances mentioned in the previous paragraph led me to the conclusion that our country needs a new Constitution, which should lead to a political system based on the free-will of our citizens.
Accordingly, the new Constitution should not be conceived to suit the tastes and mores of a particular individual, political force or group, nor to ensure the reproduction of any power, but to address the strategic issue of formulating the citizens’ free-will to have a statehood of their own.
This process has already started, and we hope that the draft Constitution will be put up for the widest possible public debate, and the new Constitution will be adopted through a nationwide referendum in 2021. I wish all of us every success in this important matter.