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Armenian Government Dictates Legislative Policy at Parliament, Expert Says

In it's latest seventh session the Armenian National Assembly has passed more laws in extraordinary sittings than in regular ones։ 61 out of 112 laws were adopted by the parliament in extraordinary sittings which, with the exception of one, were convened at the initiative of the Government, Lusine Vasilyan, head of NA Monitoring project said Thursday when presenting the results of the monitoring of the parliament's seventh session.

“The monopoly on convening extraordinary sittings belongs to the Government. The Executive convened extraordinary sittings with full agendas during which major legislative amendments were made. For example, they've changed the law on foreign debt, verified 5 international loan agreements the total amount of which exceeds $ 600 million. This is the main characteristic of the latest session. Another characteristic is that the Government continued to dictate the legislative policy, being the initiator of 9 laws out of 10. Number of 'against' votes in National Assembly does not reach 1%,” Vasilyan said.

Note, ruling Republican Party holds the majority in the fifth convocation of the National Assembly. In recent years the Party's MPs have mainly disrupted initiatives by opposition forces to convene extraordinary sittings on a number of important issues. In particular, in December 2014 the Republicans failed to show up to the discussion of the attacks on Karabakh war veteran Suren Sargsyan, as well as opposition Armenian National Congress MP Aram Manukyan. The same happened with the extraordinary sitting initiated to discuss the law on turnover tax.