Sakunts: Only through constitutional amendments is it possible to neutralize the danger of not resisting the temptation of power18:47, July 30, 2018 | News, Other news
“Even in the case of the most perfect Constitution, nobody has guarantees that no group will seize power,” Artur Sakunts, Chairman of Helsinki Citizens’ Assemby-Vanadzor, mentioned in the press conference held today.
Nevertheless, according to him, the objective of the political forces is to enshrine in the present Constitution a number of essential principles which will separate the powers and disallow anyone who has come to power to act arbitrarily and to make decisions alone.
The human rights defender noted with regret that in the last 30 years no governance culture was formed in Armenia which would provide a basis for concluding that the mistakes made by all the previous authorities cannot be repeated.
“The only guarantee [for those mistakes not being repeated] we have is Nikol Pashinyan’s and today’s government’s democratic posture. Yet can it be a guarantee for tomorrow or the day after tomorrow?” he posed a rhetorical question to the audience.
In the human rights defender’s belief, the present Constitution does not ensure the principle of separation of powers, as the legal model of super prime-ministerial governance lies at the basis of that Constitution. The change of authorities, as stated by him, has not changed their approaches for one simple reason: the principle of separation of powers cannot be replaced by the good will of the authorities.
“I definitely trust that Nikol Pashinyan or any member of the government will not call any judge and tell them what to do now. Yet, we reinstate that there should be no basis or guarantee established on one person. There should be a legal guarantee: firstly, judicial sovereignty; secondly, independence of judges; thirdly, parliamentary supervision over the executive power,” Sakunts mentioned, adding that it is not realistic both in terms of time as well as in terms of resources to make such changes in a very short period of time; however, the representatives of civil society want to hear clear guarantees for the reforms to be initiated in the future before the elections.
As was stated by Sakunts, the authorities ought to present a concept for systemic reforms with a clear timetable, the aim of which should be the eradication of the super prime-ministerial system.
“It is unequivocal that corruption, as a phenomenon and as a system, should be dismantled. It is unequivocal that impunity should be overcome, and those guilty for crimes committed should be brought to liability. In order for the results to be institutionalized and in order not to swing from one point to another extreme point like a pendulum-I assure you that attempts are made to speculate as to what is the difference. By the way, I think that the amount of speculation is going to increase gradually…political persecution or whatnot…-in order to put an end to all of this and in order to create guarantees, those intentions should be clearly stated,” highlighted the human rights defender.
As stated by Sakunts, the Parliament today does not have any supervision over many state institutions, and the absence of that mechanism may give birth to reprehensible phenomena over time.
“The absence of parliamentary oversight may not fail to tempt. That is the nature of power regardless of persons. The absence of this mechanism will not allow us not to have or to refrain from further reprehensible phenomena like the ones we have witnessed,” mentioned the human rights defender, adding that, no matter how much he trusts in the Prime Minister or the government members, he does not want it to be regulated by personal qualities of individuals or by ideas, but by the law, as power is a tempting phenomenon, and it has been proven throughout the entire history of mankind and through the experience of different countries.