Republic of the Philippines
Laguna State Polytechnic University
Social Science 3
(Politics and Governance with Constitution)
The Armenia Government
Ram Chryztler P. Acero
Armenia Government System
Politics of Armenia
Politics of Armenia takes place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic
republic, whereby the President is the head of government, and of a platform multi-party system.
Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the
government and parliament.
Flag of Armenia
Coat of arms of Armenia
Constitution of Armenia
The Constitution of Armenia was adopted by a nationwide Armenian referendum on July 5,
1995. This constitution established Armenia as a democratic, sovereign, social, and
constitutional state. Yerevan is defined as the state's capital. Power is vested in its citizens, who
exercise it directly through the election of government representatives. Decisions related to
changes in constitutional status or to an alteration of borders are subject to a vote of the citizens
of Armenia exercised in a referendum. There are 117 articles in the 1995 constitution. On
November 27, 2005, a nationwide constitutional referendum was held and an amended
constitution was adopted.
According to the November 2005 Constitution, the President of the Republic appoints the Prime
Minister based on the distribution of the seats in the National Assembly and consultations with
the parliamentary factions. The President also appoints (or dismisses from office) the members
of the Government upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister. Given the constitutional
powers of the president, Armenia can be regarded as a presidential republic.
Politics since the dissolution of the Soviet Union
The population of Armenia voted overwhelmingly for independence in a September 1991
referendum, followed by a presidential election in October 1991 that gave 83% of the vote to
Levon Ter-Petrosyan. Ter-Petrosyan had been elected head of government in 1990, when the
National Democratic Union party defeated the Armenian Communist Party. Ter-Petrosyan was
re-elected in 1996. Following public demonstrations against Ter-Petrosyan's policies on
Nagorno-Karabakh, the President resigned in January 1998 and was replaced by Prime Minister
Robert Kocharyan, who was elected President in March 1998. Following the assassination in
Parliament of Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsyan and parliament Speaker Karen Demirchyan and
six other officials, on 27 October 1999, a period of political instability ensued during which an
opposition headed by elements of the former Armenian National Movement government
attempted unsuccessfully to force Kocharyan to resign. Kocharyan was successful in riding out
the unrest. In May 2000, Andranik Margaryan replaced Aram Sargsyan as Prime Minister.
Kocharyan's re-election as president in 2003 was followed by widespread allegations of ballotrigging. He went on to propose controversial constitutional amendments on the role of
parliament. These were rejected in a referendum the following May at the same time as
parliamentary elections which left Kocharyan's party in a very powerful position in parliament.
There were mounting calls for the President's resignation in early 2004 with thousands of
demonstrators taking to the streets in support of demands for a referendum of confidence in him.
The unicameral parliament (also called the National Assembly) is dominated by a coalition,
called "Unity" (Miasnutyun), between the Republican and Peoples Parties and the AgroTechnical Peoples Union, aided by numerous independents. Dashnaksutyun, which was
outlawed by Ter-Petrosyan in 1995–96 but legalized again after Ter-Petrosyan resigned, also
usually supports the government. A new party, the Republic Party, is headed by ex-Prime
Minister Aram Sargsyan, brother of Vazgen Sargsyan, and has become the primary voice of the
opposition, which also includes the Armenian Communist Party, the National Unity party of
Artashes Geghamyan, and elements of the former Ter-Petrosyan government.
The Government of Armenia's stated aim is to build a Western-style parliamentary democracy as
the basis of its form of government. However, international observers have questioned the
fairness of Armenia's parliamentary and presidential elections and constitutional referendum
since 1995, citing polling deficiencies, lack of cooperation by the Electoral Commission, and
poor maintenance of electoral lists and polling places. For the most part however, Armenia is
considered one of the more pro-democratic nations in the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Observers noted, though, that opposition parties and candidates have been able to mount credible
campaigns and proper polling procedures have been generally followed. Elections since 1998
have represented an improvement in terms of both fairness and efficiency, although they are still
considered to have fallen short of international standards. The new constitution of 1995 greatly
expanded the powers of the executive branch and gives it much more influence over the judiciary
and municipal officials.
The observance of human rights in Armenia is uneven and is marked by shortcomings. Police
brutality allegedly still goes largely unreported, while observers note that defendants are often
beaten to extract confessions and are denied visits from relatives and lawyers. Public
demonstrations usually take place without government interference, though one rally in
November 2000 by an opposition party was followed by the arrest and imprisonment for a month
of its organizer. Freedom of religion is not always protected under existing law. Nontraditional
churches, especially the Jehovah's Witnesses, have been subjected to harassment, sometimes
violently. All churches apart from the Armenian Apostolic Church must register with the
government, and proselytizing was forbidden by law, though since 1997 the government has
pursued more moderate policies. The government's policy toward conscientious objection is in
transition, as part of Armenia's accession to the Council of Europe. Most of Armenia's ethnic
Azeri population was deported in 1988–1989 and remain refugees, largely in Azerbaijan.
Armenia's record on discrimination toward the few remaining national minorities is generally
good. The government does not restrict internal or international travel. Although freedom of the
press and speech are guaranteed, the government maintains its monopoly over television and
Armenia became independent from the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic on 28
May 1918 as the First Republic of Armenia. After the First Republic collapsed on 2 December
1920, it was absorbed into the Soviet Union and became part of the Transcaucasian SFSR. The
TSFSR dissolved in 1936 and Armenia became a constituent republic of the Soviet Union known
as the Armenian SSR. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, beginning on 23 September
1991 the official name of the nation has been the Republic of Armenia (Armenian: Hayastani
Hanrapetut'yun). The data code for the country is AM.
The capital and largest city is Yerevan. In addition to the Yerevan administrative region,
Armenia is split into ten administrative divisions, known as marzer (singular: marz); these are
Ararat, Aragatsotn, Armavir, Gegharkunik, Kotayk, Lori, Shirak, Syunik, Tavush, and Vayots
The flag of Armenia consists of three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, and orange.
Political corruption is a problem in Armenian society. In 2008, Transparency International
reduced its Corruption Perceptions Index for Armenia from 3.0 in 2007 to 2.9 out of 10 (a
lower score means more perceived corruption); Armenia slipped from 99th place in 2007 to
109th out of 180 countries surveyed (on a par with Argentina, Belize, Moldova, Solomon
Islands, and Vanuatu). Despite legislative revisions in relation to elections and party
financing, corruption either persists or has re-emerged in new forms.
The United Nations Development Program me in Armenia views corruption in Armenia as "a
serious challenge to its development."
The President of the Republic of Armenia is the head of State. The President ensures adherence
to the Constitution and provides for regular functioning of legislative, executive and judicial
authorities. The President is the guarantor of Republic of Armenia's sovereignty, territorial
integrity and security. The President of Republic is elected by the citizens of the Republic of
Armenia for a five year term of office.
The Executive Power:
The president is elected for a five year term by the people (absolute majority with 2nd round if
necessary).Executive power is exercised by RA Government. The Government is composed of
Prime Minister and Ministers. Based on consultations held with National Assembly factions, the
President of Republic appoints the person nominated by the parliamentary majority to be Prime
Minister or - where impossible - the person nominated by the largest number of NA membership.
The President of the Republic appoints and discharges members of government on Prime
The Legislative Power:
The National Assembly of Armenia (Azgayin Zhoghov) is the legislative branch of the
government of Armenia. It is a unicameral body of 131 members, elected for five-year terms: 90
members in single-seat constituencies and 41 by proportional representation. The proportionalrepresentation 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 single-chambered National Assembly is the supreme legislative authority of the Republic of
Armenia. The National Assembly consists of 131 deputies /90 of which are elected on the basis
of proportional representation and 41- majority representation/. The National Assembly is
elected through general elections for a term of five years. Parliamentary elections were last held
The Judicial Power:
In the Republic of Armenia justice shall be administered solely by the courts in accordance with
the Constitution and the laws. The courts operating in the Republic of Armenia are the first
instance court of general jurisdiction, the courts of appeal, the Court of Cassation, as well as
specialized courts in cases prescribed by the law. The highest court instance in the Republic of
Armenia, except for matters of constitutional justice, is the Court of Cassation, which shall
ensure uniformity in the implementation of the law. The Constitutional Court shall administer the
constitutional justice in the Republic of Armenia. The independence of courts shall be
guaranteed by the Constitution and laws. The Constitution and the law shall define the procedure
for the formation and activities of the Council of Justice. The Office of the Prosecutor General in
the Republic of Armenia represents a unified, centralized system, headed by the Prosecutor
General. The Office of the Prosecutor General shall operate within the powers granted by the
Constitution and on the basis of the law.
Eleven marzes (provinces)
(Including the capital city of Yerevan that has a status of a marz).
Elections in Armenia
Armenia elects on national level a head of state - the president - and a legislature. The president
is elected for a five-year term by the people (absolute majority with 2nd round if necessary). The
National Assembly (Azgayin Zhoghov) has 131 members, elected for a four-year term, 41
members in single-seat constituencies and 90 by proportional representation. The seats envisaged
for the National Assembly by proportional representation are distributed among those party lists,
which have received at least 5% of the total of the number of the votes. Armenia has a multiparty system, with numerous parties in which no one party often has a chance of gaining power
alone, and parties must work with each other to form coalition governments.