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ARMENIA

Encyclopedia of World Constitutions, Editor Gerhard Robbers, Facts on File; 1st edition 2006


Author of article: Vardan Pogosyan
Data: 08.08.2005



At-a-Glance

Official name: Republic of Armenia

Capital: Yerevan

Population: 3,100,000 (2005 est.)

Size: 11,506 sq mi (29,800 sq km)

Languages: Armenian

Religions: Armenian Orthodox 94%, other Christian 4%, Yezidi (Zoroastrian/animist) 2%

National or ethnic composition: Armenian 96%, Kurd 4%, Yezid, Russian, Jewish, Assyrian, and Greek

Date of independence or creation: September 21, 1991

Type of government: Mixed presidential-parliamentary democracy

Type of state: Unitary state

Type of legislature: Unicameral parliament

Date of constitution: July 5, 1995

Date of last amendment: No amendment


Armenia is, according to Article 1 of the constitution, a sovereign, de-mocratic, and social state based on the rule of law. It is a unitary state. Al-though the constitution provides for guarantees of human rights, in practice there are substantial barriers to the effective protection of these rights.
Despite the proclamation of the principle of separation of power, politi-cal power is concentrated in the presidency. The president is the central politi-cal figure who puts together and dismisses the administration. The administra-tion is also responsible to the National Assembly, but the latter has substan-tially less authority than the president.
Armenia has a market economy with equal legal protection for all forms of property. The constitution guarantees freedom of economic activity and free economic competition. By its constitution Armenia is obliged to conduct its foreign policy in accordance with the norms of international law, with the aim of establishing good neighborly and mutually beneficial relations with all states.

Constitutional History

One of the world’s oldest civilizations, Armenia, over the centuries, has been conquered by the Greeks, Romans, Persians, Byzantines, Mongols, Ar-abs, Ottoman Turks, and Russians. Following the collapse of the Russian Em-pire, an independent republic was established in May 1918, which survived only until November 1920, when it was annexed by the Communist Soviet Army. The first independent Republic of Armenia did not manage to adopt a constitution. The first Soviet Armenian constitution was adopted on Febru-ary 3, 1922. On March 12, 1922, the Soviets joined Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan to form the Transcaucasian Soviet Socialist Republic, which be-came part of the Soviet Union, the USSR. In 1936, after reorganization, Ar-menia became a separate constituent republic of the USSR. The second and third Soviet Armenian constitutions were adopted in 1937 and 1978. They were modeled on the Soviet constitutions of 1936 and 1977, respectively.
Armenia gained its independence from the Soviet Union in Septem-ber 1991. Work on the constitution only began in October 1992, although the Constitutional Commission of the Parliament had been established in Novem-ber 1990. The constitution-building process, dominated by the president and his party, lasted over three years. The draft constitution was approved by the parliament in May 1995 and was adopted on July 5, 1995 by referendum.

continue     08.08.2005

 



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