Dedicated to Members of Parliament Asking Questions to Candidate for Judge of Constitutional Court


Yesterday the National Assembly voted down the nomination of Gor Hovhannisyan by the President of Armenia for the position of judge of the Constitutional Court of Armenia. After the voting Gor Hovhannisyan said that he could detect a clear motivation in declining his nomination.

It was obvious during the discussion of Gor Hovhannisyan’s nomination. First, there was a long discussion on confusion in the documents he submitted:part of the documentswerenot Armenian, there was no clarity relating to his work experience. Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan’s comments on these merely confirmed the predetermination to decline him.

However, the most interesting part was the questions that were asked to Gor Hovhannisyan. They reminded a cross-examination intended to confuse the candidate and to force him to utter the desired testimony.

It should be noted that Gor Hovhannisyan did not step back. He explained patiently to the members of parliament why he was in the National Assembly and what he is going to do in case he is elected.

The situation was described very accurately by Edmon Marukyan, recalling an old joke about boarding a ship when those who want to sail are asked to solve math problems and when all the seats are taken, the next passenger is asked to solve a difficult problem. Why don’t you say all seats are taken, he asks?

But let’s go back to the “difficult problems”, choosing two specific questions. First, one of the members of My Step parliamentary group asked Gor Hovhannisyan’s opinion on whether the constitutional order was toppled on 1 March 2008. In addition, the member of parliament demanded that Gor Hovhannisyan answered yes or no.

The second question was asked by one of the members of Bright Armenia parliamentary group on the decisions of the Constitutional Court legitimizing the rigged elections. The member of parliament again demanded a yes or no answer from Gor Hovhannisyan.

In other words, the candidate for the judge of the Constitutional Court was asked to express a political position and evaluation. Gor Hovhannisyan did not express such a position and explained that such a position and evaluation have nothing to do with the question discussed, while legal evaluations are given by the relevant agencies.

Did the members of parliament fail to understand what question was discussed in parliament? It’s hard to believe.

There is another circumstance. If Gor Hovhannisyan answered yes or no, wouldn’t a question occur why the candidate of the Constitutional Court should express a biased political or legal position?

Apparently, this is the main issue. A candidate for the judge of the Constitutional Court is needed who has a clear political position on these issues. And judging by the press publication there is such a candidate. It would be interesting to watch what questions the members of parliament ask the other candidate, particularly relating to toppling constitutional order and the decisions of the Constitutional Court on elections. The public must demand that the same questions are asked to the next candidate.

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