Thursday, September 1, 2016

ARMENIAN CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS RAISE CIVIL SOCIETY CONCERNS

http://www.epde.org/en/newsreader/items/-532.html



Summary:
Four years after Armenia's second independence on September 21, 1991, this time from the Soviet Union, the Armenian government approved its first constitution which empowered the president as the sole leader without much checks and balances. Ten years later in 2005, the new government reformed the constitution with the vision of sharing power with a prime minister. Elected 2008, the third president (Serge Sarkisian) and his government embarked on a third effort on constitutional reforms, towards a full parliamentary power sharing government. The Venice commission of the council of Europe has been a participant and has recommended improvements on proposed amendments. This effort started in 2013 and a referendum that will take place in April 2017 will determine whether the country is ready for this major change.

Historical Connection:
Armenia taking the challenging path to full democracy through constitutional reforms, with the goal of becoming a democratic country, modeled after the U.S. with its branches of government insuring checks and balances.

Discussion Question:
 In its geographical location neighboring autocratic countries and being under Russia's sphere of influence, balancing external influence against national interests, are countries like Armenia with only 25 years of modern history capable of implementing a fully democratic government?

6 comments:

  1. Armenia can become a democratic government if properly backed by western powers. On it's own, it would be difficult to escape the red sphere of influence, but if such countries were properly funded by western countries, a sort of Israel 2.o can be created. A western civilization backed countries in a turmoil fulled area.

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    1. As of today, the Prime Minister of Armenia has announced his resignation. He has said that he was stepping down to allow Armenia's, "society and government to unite in their efforts”. He also added that, "We need a new beginning." This statement allows me to believe that as you said "Armenia can become a democratic government if properly backed by western powers," however, I also believe that first Armenia's government officials have to be willing to make the sacrifices needed towards becoming a democratic government and not be so corrupt.

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  2. I feel like it would be hard for Armenia to implement a fully democratic government. The fact that Armenia is very close to a country like Russia makes it more unlikely. The United States or some other western power would have to be able to back up Armenia and support their democratic government.

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  3. I have high hopes for Armenia fully put a democratic government in power. It's happened before in other countries, so I think this will work out well. It might be hard being so close to autocratic countries, and of course Russia, but it's definitely possible for Armenia to have a full democratic government.

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  4. I agree that it would be hard for Armenia to commit to a fully democratic government. With being surrounded by non democratic countries and most of all Russia, it will be hard for Armenia but not impossible. Like Talar said, the government officials of Armenia will have to be willing to commit with sacrifices needed to fully obtain a democratic government.

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  5. I agree with Tilman, if countries were funded consistantely, another version of Israel can be made.

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