At the meeting with a group of members of the expert commission on constitutional changes the President of Armenia noted that the Constitution, constitutionality are not just legal regulations written on the paper and the next step, their implementation is very important. “When we check on the compliance of the given law with the Constitution, it is not just about making sure that what’s written on the paper is in line with the Constitution. The countries, which trust their Constitution, the rule of law, benefit from it. One of the ways to develop the Constitution is the following: we, as a society, should trust and live by that culture,” the President said.
President Armen Sarkissian noted that he views the constitutionality of a law from the viewpoint of its applicability. “If a law presented for my signature has no constitutional problems, what choice do I have?” he said and mentioned at the same time that in some cases, a law has no conflict with the Constitution but is untimely.
As an example, he spoke about the property tax. “Tax law are very sensitive, and any property tax should be scrutinized from every angle, analyzed,” the President said referring to the changes in the legislation related to the property tax. “Property tax is related to other taxes. There is no doubt that the state should think about and develop our tax legislation; people, who have large wealth must pay more taxes.” In all countries the taxes are increased or decreased. But according to the President, laws have also social and psychological impact. “The law related to property relates also to multiple other problems,” President Sarkissian said. “For instance, if a junior scientific worker lives in the apartment which he inherited from his grandpa, a famous academician, what is he supposed to do? Sell it and move to the remote parts of the city? There is a chance that he might sell his apartment and leave Armenia, taking with him the archives of the academician and history, in general, part of Yerevan’s and our people’s history.
It may look that any law is just statistics, numbers but there are human lives behind them, our country, culture, our city. We need to be very careful. People must be our greatest asset; they create that culture and environment. That law is on my desk. I cannot send it to the Constitutional Court since there is no noncompliance with the Constitution. The only option I have, is to sign the law and attach a statement. And that I did, explaining in detail the problems there. Should I had the authority to send it back to the National Assembly, I would and explained that for this and that reason the law should be reviewed. Should I had the right of veto, I would use it.”
The Office to the President of the Republic of Armenia