National Assembly (Armenia)

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National Assembly
Type
Type
Leadership
Speaker
Galust Sahakyan, Republican
Since 29 April 2014
Structure
Seats 131
Current Structure of the Armenian National Assembly
Political groups

Government:

Opposition and others

Elections
90 by Party list PR
41 by constituencies
Last election
6 May 2012
Next election
2017
Meeting place
The Armenian National Assembly sits in the National Assembly Building in Yerevan
National Assembly Building
19 Baghramyan
Yerevan, 0095
Republic of Armenia
Website
National Assembly of Armenia
Aerial view of the building and premises
Coat of arms of Armenia.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Armenia
See also

The National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia (Armenian: Հայաստանի Հանրապետության Ազգային ժողով, Hayastani Hanrapetyut'yan Azgayin zhoghov or simply Ազգային ժողով, ԱԺ Azgayin Zhoghov, AZh), also informally referred to as the Parliament of Armenia (խորհրդարան, khorhrdaran) is the legislative branch of the government of Armenia.

Overview[edit]

The National Assembly is a unicameral body. It comprises 131 members, elected for five-year terms: 41 members in single-seat constituencies and 90 by proportional representation. The proportional-representation seats in the National Assembly are assigned on a party-list basis amongst those parties that receive at least 5% of the total of the number of the votes. The current speaker of the National Assembly is Galust Sahakyan.

History[edit]

In Armenian history, national or secular assemblies were convened even in ancient times, but those differed a lot from what we know today. They were convened for adopting decisions on serious and decisive issues faced by the nation, as well as aiming to adopt rules regulating social relations. This is of course, very far from essential parliamentarianism, which is considered to be permanently processing representative legislator elected by people, but it includes its primary components, the alderman, deciding the people’s destiny, debating issues and adopted by voting critical decisions and rules for the nation and organizing constituent activity and set up relations according to them.

In Armenian history the concept of parliamentary governance was born at the end of 18th century. SH. Shahamiryan in the work “Vorogayt Pararts” (1773, Madras) for the first time formulated the main provisions on constitutional republic and parliamentary order.

The parliament of the first Republic of Armenia, declared on May 28 1918, was convened on August 1. A government was established, mainly from Dashnaktsakans. H. Kajaznuni was appointed as Prime Minister. In hard historical-political times, the Republic of Armenia, existing only two and a half years, was a country governed by parliamentary principles. The parliament was one chambered and had standing committees and a council of elders. The Government of the Republic was accountable to the legislative body - Parliament.

Four political factions formulated parliament - Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), Social -Democratic Hnchakyan Party (SDP), Social Revolutionaries and People’s Party of Armenian. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation was a governing party, with a parliamentary plurality, while the others were in opposition. The Armenian Parliament, during its existence, adopted more than 1000 laws and legal documents, having power of law related to the inner and foreign policy of the Republic.

Supreme Council[edit]

In 1920 Soviet orders were established in Armenia and the authorities of the Supreme Council of the ASSR were defined by the ASSR Constitution. The Supreme Council of the ASSR, as directed by the USSR and ASSR constitution, managed all the issues reserved for the ASSR authority. It was elected for a five year term and consisted of one chamber of 340 Parliament Members who were elected by electoral districts, having equal population. The activity order of the ASSR Supreme Council and its bodies was defined by the rules of the procedures of the ASSR Supreme Council and ASSR other laws. The ASSR Supreme Council appointed the president of the ASSR Ministers Council.

The Supreme Council of the Republic of Armenia began its work on July 20, 1990 and completed on May 15, 1995. 1,169 decisions and 185 laws were adopted during that term, 104 of which were “basic” laws and 81 on making amendments and agenda to the laws in function. International 148 treaties were ratified.

National Assembly[edit]

After the adoption of constitution in 1995 the Supreme Council was renamed The National Assembly of Armenia and in 2012 the fifth convocation of the National Assembly was elected with 131 deputies (90 proportional and 41 majoritarian electoral system). Six parliamentary factions were created in the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia of the fifth convocation: "Republican Party of Armenia" faction (69 Parliament Members,) "Prosperous Armenia" faction (37 Parliament Members,) "Armenian National Congress" faction (7 Parliament Member,) "Rule of Law" faction (6 Parliament Members,) "Armenian Revolutionary Federation" faction (5 Parliament Members,) "Heritage" faction (5 Parliament Members.) 2 Deputies were not included in those factions.

The first session of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia of the fifth convocation was convened on May 31, 2012. Mr. Hovik Abrahamyan was elected President of the National Assembly, Mr. E. Sharmazanov and Ms. H. Naghdalyan were elected Vice-Presidents. 12 Chairs for the Standing Committees were also elected.

By the decree of the President of the Republic of Armenia on April 13, 2014 Mr. Hovik Abrahamyan was appointed Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia. Mr. Galust Sahakyan was appointed President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia on April 29, 2014.

Structure[edit]

The first convocation of The National Assembly of Armenia used to have 190 deputies, but this number was reduced to 131 for the second convocation and remains constant till now. Only political parties which overcome the barrier of 5% get seats in the Parliament. The number of those parties reached to 6 in the fifth convocation of the National Assembly of Armenia. The seats are divided as follows: “Republican Party of Armenia” (70 deputies), “Prosperous Armenia” (33 deputies), “Armenian National Congress” (7 deputies), “Rule of Law” (5 deputies), “Armenian Revolutionary Federation” (5 deputies), “Heritage” (4 deputies). After elections factions by the names of each party that got more than 5 % of the votes are created. There are also 6 deputies that do not belong to any party and 1 deputy that belongs to the “Free Democrats” party.

According to the article 73 of the constitution not more than twelve standing committees may be in the National Assembly to review the draft legal acts and provide conclusion for the Parliament. The rules of the procedure of the standing committee are approved by the decision of the committee itself. Each of the committees has one administrative assistant and three experts. Sub-committees and working groups may be established by a standing committee by electing their heads and defining their tasks and procedure of activities.

According to the same article of the constitution ad-hoc committees are established for the preliminary discussion of the draft laws and providing conclusions on different issues, events and facts to the National Assembly. Unlike the standing committees, tasks and procedure of action of the ad-hoc committee is defined by the National Assembly. The ad-hoc returning committee (The Returning Committee). This committee is set up by the resolution of the national assembly at the first four day of each regular session. The decisions of the committee are adopted by the majority vote of its members. The function of this committee is to organize voting by secret ballot and submit the results to the National Assembly, register the deputies and count the votes.

According to the rules of procedure of the National Assembly the Ethics Committee is established upon the recommendation of the factions at the first four-day sitting of the first session of the National Assembly, as well as of each regular session, and functions until the formation of the next ethics committee of the National Assembly of the same convocation. This committee:

a) submits a conclusion to the National Assembly on the violation by a Deputy of the requirements of Paragraph 1 of Article 65 of the Constitution;

b) decides on the issue of violation by a Deputy of the rules of ethics foreseen by Paragraph 2 of Article 6.1 of the law of procedure of the National Assembly;

c) Decides on the failure by a Deputy to meet the requirement of Paragraph 3 of Article 6.2. of the law of procedure of the National Assembly on making a statement on conflict of interest;

d) Submits a conclusion to the Deputy on deeming the work indicated by him/her compatible with Article 24 of the Law of the Republic of Armenia on Public Service;

e) Submits a conclusion to a Deputy on the need to make a statement on conflict of interest on an issue indicated by him/her in the manner prescribed by Paragraph 3 of Article 6.2. of the law of procedure of the National Assembly.

Another committee is a Lead Committee which is set up by the chairperson of the National Assembly from the standing and ad-hoc committees. The representative of this committee makes a report on the decisions of the committee during the sitting of the National Assembly.

Staff[edit]

The normative, expert, legal, organizational, documentation, analytical, informational, financial - economic and logistical aspects of the activities of the National Assembly are ensured by the staff (“Law on the procedures of the National Assembly”, chapter 15, article 111).

The aspects which are not under the responsibility of the factions and committees are implemented by the departments of the National Assembly. Those are: secretariat, legal department, economics department, public relations and media department, department of foreign relations, protocol department, information department, Human Resources Management Department, Department for Financial Economics and Accounting, Administration, Citizen and Letter Reception Division (Reception of the National Assembly), Telecommunication Systems Division, First Division, Publishing Department, Department of Internal Audit.

Operations and legal frameworks[edit]

The National Assembly is the legislative body of the Republic of Armenia. As it is stated in the article 71 of the Constitution: “The laws and resolutions of the National Assembly, save for cases set forth in the Constitution, shall be adopted by the majority of votes of the Deputies having participated in the voting provided that more than half of the total number of Deputies have voted.” The national assembly of Armenia is elected for a term of 5 years. Any person who is 25 and older, has Armenian citizenship and is living in Armenia for at least five years can be elected as a deputy. A deputy cannot be engaged in any entrepreneurial or other paid activity which is not considered as a scientific, educational and creative work according to the law on Social Service. A deputy, without the consent of the National Assembly may not be involved as an accused, detained or subjected to administrative liability through a judicial procedure and may not be arrested, unless caught in the act.

After the election, the day of which should be defined by presidential decree, according to the article 68 of the constitution of the RA. The newly elected National Assembly starts its operations on the third Thursday after the election of at least two thirds of the number of deputies. Before the Chairperson and the Vice Chairpersons of the National Assembly are elected the session is held by the oldest deputy. After deputies take an oath the session begins and the Chairperson and the Vice Chairpersons of the corresponding convocation of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia are elected. The first sitting of the National Assembly is over when the newly elected Chairperson gives his speech.

According to the law on procedures of the National Assembly two regular sessions are convened during the year: from the second Monday of September to the second Thursday of December, and from the first Monday of February to the second Thursday of June.

According to the constitution of the RA the Government should within 21 days present its program to the National Assembly for approval. Though as always the rule of checks and balances works, and after the National Assembly has refused to approve the program two consecutive times the President has the right to dissolve the National Assembly. The National Assembly also adopts the state budget and oversees its implementation. If it fails to adopt the budget by the start of the year, everything is done according to the previous year’s budget. It also approves the administrative territorial division of the Republic, upon the recommendation of the Government. The Legislative body of the Republic of Armenia should also appoint 5 members of the Constitutional Court, the Chairman of the Constitutional Court from among the members of the Constitutional court, upon the recommendation of the Chairperson of the National Assembly, elect two legal scholars for the Council of Justice. It also elects the Human Rights Defender by the vote of the three-fifths of the total number of deputies. Upon the recommendation of the President of the RA the National Assembly shall appoint the chairperson of the Central Bank. It can also by the vote of the majority of its deputies and by the recommendation of the President, in cases prescribed by the law, remove the Chairman from office. The Chairman of another independent agency, the Control Chamber, is also appointed by the Parliament upon the recommendation of the President, but the same person cannot be reelected more than once. The National Assembly is the one to approve the action plan of the Control Chamber.

Library[edit]

The Library of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia was established in1991.Mainly the patrons of National Assembly library are deputies and National Assembly staff. Information is provided in oral, paper and electronic versions. When required materials are only in National Assembly Library we also serve public researchers.

Today the library collection has about 9000 items, which consists of reference books, constitutions, laws, treats, conventions, legislation of Armenian, CIS and European countries, publications of National Statistical Service, materials dealing with the functioning with society, history, politics, international relations and economics, that is to say all materials relevant to the legislature's activity.

If the Library does not have a certain publication in its collections, it is possible to obtain it through interlibrary loans. The Library creates and maintains electronic database, which contains books, pamphlets, analytical descriptions from periodicals and newspapers, materials relevant to the work of Parliament, as well as materials concerning issues of future discussion. For users Library provides Internet access, photocopying. Librarians provide consultation of Library database and provide assistance with the search of information.

Building[edit]

The building of the National Assembly of Armenia was constructed during 1948-1950. It was meant to be the building of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. In 1951 the architect of the Building was awarded with the State Prize of the USSR. On May 1991, according to the decision #314 of the Council of the Ministers of the RA on “Assigning the building, formerly used by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Armenia to the Supreme Council”, the Building was assigned to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Armenia.

The building is built from light orange tuff, and is separated in the green environment and under the blue sky, giving her special beauty and expressiveness. The entrance of the building, with beautiful pillars on each side, is made of marble. The high, wide and bright corridors, the central and side stairs and the two elevators create a comfortable connection with the different parts and floors of the building. High quality wood and natural and artificial marble were used for the interior. The same was used also for the second subsidiary building.

The ceremony of the official opening of the reconstructed Sitting Hall of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia was held on October 22, 2010. Here every deputy has his/her place which cannot be changed. There is also a chair for the President, and a section for the Prime Minister and other ministers. The oval structure of the Sitting Hall is symbolic. It reminds of round-table debates. The choice of that structure is not by chance. From long ago the round table is considered a symbol of purposeful discussions for cooperation, as logically the interlocutors are acting not for personal struggles, but seeking a path for productive solutions of key problems.


Chairmen of the Supreme Council (1990-1995)[edit]

Speakers of the National Assembly (1995-)[edit]

Deputy Chairmen/Speakers[edit]

Last election[edit]

e • d  Summary of the 6 May 2012 Armenian National Assembly election results
Party
Party-list
Constituency
Total
seats
±
Votes
%
Seats
Seats
%
Republican Party
664,440
44.02
40
29
70.7
69
Increase 5
Prosperous Armenia
454,673
30.12
28
9
21.9
37
Increase 12
ANC
106,903
7.08
7
7
Increase 7
Rule of Law
83,123
5.51
5
1
2.4
6
Decrease 3
ARF
85,550
5.67
5
5
Decrease 10
Heritage
86,998
5.76
5
5
Decrease 2
Armenian Communist Party
15,899
1.45
Steady
Democratic Party of Armenia
5,577
0.37
Steady
Unified Armenians Party
2,945
0.20
Steady
Non-partisans/Independents
2
4.8
2
Decrease 4
Invalid votes
53,831
Total
1,573,053
100.00
90
41
100.0
131
Electorate and turnout:
2,523,101
62.35
Source: Central Electoral Commission of the Republic of Armenia

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°11′23.71″N 44°30′32.91″E / 40.1899194°N 44.5091417°E / 40.1899194; 44.5091417