Monday, 5 July 2010

Armenia: Constitution Day, or is it?

“On 5 July Armenians mark Constitution Day.”

Well, sort of. Officially, that is. In order to celebrate or mark something, you have to feel it.

And I feel nothing. No, it's not because I now live in London and suddenly started feeling detached from the Armenian realities. It’s simply there is absolutely nothing to celebrate today, although it’s always good to have legitimate reasons for a day off.

Constitutions, including Armenian, may contain lots of nice words and articles. But the content per se is not that important. In order for the Constitution to withstand the test of time, it has to be a viable foundation during crisis times.

Two years ago, during 1 March bloodshed, it failed spectacularly. It did not help in averting the crisis, nor did it help in the aftermath. Do not get me started about the so called Constitutional Court joke in Armenia.

For me, the question is: Does the Constitution provide a basis for mechanisms in place that will work regardless of personalities? Mechanisms that will ensure democracy and human rights. If the answer is “Yes”, then Cheers! to the Constitution. For now, however, it all depends on who and how wants to implement it.

Read also Կեցցե՜ Սահմանադրության Օրը (AM) by Lusine Vayachyan.


nazarian said...

I think you are approaching this from a different angle. The constitution is a very good document and can be a very valid foundation. The unfortunate part is that in Armenia it is basically a window dressing. There is no political thought that understands the necessity of law and order. There is no grass roots demand for law and order in the society.

Will things improve?

Who knows? Right now the easiest way an individual can remedy this is to emigrate to a more orderly place.

artmika said...

Here is one of my favourite articles from the Armenian Constitution.

Nice words.

nazarian said...

Good document, very poor implementation.

Anonymous said...

Constitution? What Constitution? Is it respected by the executive? Is it upheld by the people? Is it enforced by the courts? And the worst problem is that our people are so downtrodden and cynical that very few even try to assert their constitutional rights...