On November 28 the National Assembly continued the special session, convened on the initiative of the Government. All agenda issues, debated in the first day of the special session, including one international agreement as well, were adopted by voting.
The representative of the Government Mrs. Hasmik Poghosyan, Minster of Culture and Youth Affairs, presented draft Law on the Anthem of the Republic of Armenia. Within the framework of constitutional amendments it was envisaged that the law on National Anthem must be adopted till December 5. In transitional provisions of the draft it is enshrined that the current law is in the effect during 1 year, until the text and melody are defined legislatively.
There were sounded both: positive and negative views of the MPs’ speeches. Mr. Viktor Dallakyan believes that to define the time limit for the use of the anthem is a display of unrespectable behavior towards the state symbol. Mr. Armen Ashotyan believes that amending the anthem is not as constitutional as a public demand. Mrs. Hakobyan believes that the draft is not about the anthem; it is about its use. Mr. Hmayak Hovhannisyan says that the anthem must symbolize the fighting and winning generation.The ARF parliamentarians believe that “Mer Hayrenik” (Our Motherland) was not born by a decision, and it symbolizes the Armenians’ liberation struggle. The ARF faction submitted its version of the draft Law on Anthem.
Mr. Tigran Torosyan, President of the National Assembly, noted in his speech regarding the draft that they have to adopt a perfect law in a very short period of time, meanwhile the debates are shifted into another level. They do not talk about the draft, said the NA President and noted that the draft has a number of shortcomings. Mr. Tigran Torosyan called the attention of the representative of the Government to the non-Armenian and artificial wordings in the draft as well. In NA President’s opinion, the article defining the responsibility says nothing. Mr. T. Torosyan thinks not real as well the program of having a new anthem in one year, which is reflected in the transitional provisions of the debated draft. In his words, there should be cultural value in the basis of every cultural process, but anthem has its peculiarities. In his words, it is not the words and music that should create pride: pride should be always towards the state. The NA President called the MPs to join the efforts to have perfect law on Anthem.
Mr. Vahan Hovhannisyan, NA Vice-President, also expressed his opinion regarding the issue. He proposed the government representative to define the name of the current “Mer Hayrenik” (Our Motherland) anthem and to delete completely the transitional provision. Only in this case the ARF faction will vote for the adoption of the draft. By presenting some facts from the historical past Mr. V. Hovhannisyan informed that “Mer Hayrenik” (Our Motherland) was used spontaneously even during the self-defense of Van in 1916, earlier than the establishment of the First Republic. The NA Vice President cautiously refers to the works of the competitive commission, underlining that 17 members vote in favor of Mr. Tigran Mansuryan’s music for the first time, and in the second time – only 1 member. According to the NA Vice-President, the tradition is much more important, than someone’s music taste. He reminded that with the sounds of “Mer Hayrenik” (Our Motherland) the blood of our patriots was shed.
The representatives of factions also presented their views regarding the draft on National Anthem. The ULP faction will vote freely, meanwhile the Head of the Faction Mr. Gurgen Arsenyan told that he would vote against the presented document. The OYP faction finds untimely the starting process of amendments. Mr. Stepan Zakaryan, member of Ardarutyun/Justice faction underlined that it is not time for the amendment of the anthem: there are other important issues as well.
Mr. Galust Sahakyan, Head of RPA faction, believes that anthem is not simply a creation, and it has a tendency, unlike people or authorities, of becoming a long-term creation. He is against carrying out punitive measures for the violation of usage norms of the anthem. The Minister of Culture and Youth Affairs, in her final speech formulated the transitional provision in this way. She expressed readiness to debate proposals regarding the content and editing.
The draft on the Order of Reimbursing the Losses of the Budget Incomes by the State as a Result of Applying the RA laws on Reducing the Community Budget Incomes, the packages on Making Amendments and Addenda to the Law on State Duty, on Licensing, on Veterans of the World War II, on Social Security of Military Servicemen and Their Family Members, the drafts to the Law on Children’s Rights, on proposed amendments to the Customs Code, and the draft on Defining the 2007-2009 Three-Year Program on the RA State Statistics were proposed to the MPs for the adoption in the second reading.
Mr. David Haroutyunyan, Minister of Justice, presented the draft Law on Operative Investigation Activity.
The debate on the issue will continue on November 29.