Armenian Government

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Armenians 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 Petrosian. Ter Petrosian had been elected head of government in 1990, when the Armenian National Movement defeated the Communist Party. Ter Petrosian was re-elected in 1996. Following public demonstrations against Ter-Petrossian's policies on Nagorno-Karabakh, the President resigned in January 1998 and was replaced by Prime Minister Robert Kocharian, who was elected President in March 1998. Following the assassination in Parliament of Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsian and parliament Speaker Karen Demirchian and six other officials, on October 27, 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 Kocharian to resign. Kocharian was successful in riding out the unrest. The next presidential elections are slated for 2008. The current prime minister is Serge Sargsyan.

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 inherent fairness of 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. 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 have not met 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 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 is forbidden by law. 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 1988-89 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 Armenian TV and Armenian Radio broadcasting.

Another big problem impeding progress in Armenia is corruption. This is known to be widespread in many arms of the government. Police regularly collect money from motorists for either real or imagined violations, and from there on up through the different levels and branches of the government.

Contents

Government

Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Armenia
conventional short form: Armenia
local long form: Հայաստանի Հանրապետություն (Hayastani Hanrapetut'yun)
local short form: Հայաստան (Hayastan)
former: Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic; Armenian Republic

Data code: AM

Government type: republic

Capital: Yerevan

Administrative divisions:

Armenia is divided into 10 provinces (marzer, singular - marz) and 1 city* (k'aghak'ner, singular - k'aghak'): Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir, Gegharkunik, Kotayk, Lori, Shirak, Syunik, Tavush, Vayots Dzor, Yerevan*

Independence: 28 May 1918-2 December 1920 (First Armenian Republic); 21 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday: Independence Day, 21 September

Constitution: adopted by nationwide referendum 5 July 1995

Legal system: based on civil law system

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President of Armenia Robert Kocharian (since 30 March 1998)
head of government: Prime Minister Serge Sargsyan
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; special election last held 30 March 1998 (next to be held NA March 2003); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Robert Kocharian elected president; percent of vote - Robert Kocharian 59%, Karen Demirchian 41%

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (Parliament) or Azgayin Jhoghov (131 seats; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 30 May 1999 (next to be held in the spring of 2003)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - unity bloc 61 (Republican Party 41, People's Party of Armenia 20), Stability Group (independent Armenian deputies who have formed a bloc) 21, ACP 10, independents 10, ARF (Dashnak) 8, Law and Unity Party 7, NDU 6, Law-Governed Party 6, unfilled 2; note - seats by party change frequently

Judicial branch: Supreme Court; Constitutional Court

Ministries

  1. Ministry of Health Care
  2. Ministry of Economy
  3. Ministry of Justice
  4. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia
  5. Ministry of Environmental Protection of Armenia
  6. Ministry of Agriculture of Armenia
  7. Ministry of Energy of Armenia
  8. Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia
  9. Ministry of Culture
  10. Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs
  11. Ministry of Defense
  12. Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of Armenia
  13. Ministry of Transport and Communication of Armenia
  14. Ministry of Urban Development
  15. Ministry for Coordination of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Operations of Armenia
  16. Minister, Chief of Staff of the RoA Government

Political parties and leaders:

  • Armenian Communist Party or ACP [Ruben Tovmasyan]
  • Armenian National Movement or ANM
  • Armenian Revolutionary Federation ("Dashnak" Party) or ARF (Vahan Hovannisian)
  • Christian-Democratic Union of Armenia or CDUA [Azat ARSHAKYN, chairman]
  • Armenian Democratic Liberal Party (ADL or Ramkavar AZATAKAN)
  • Conservative Party of Armenia (Mikayel Hayrapetyan)
  • Free Armenian's Mission [Ruben MNATSANIAN, chairman]
  • Law and Unity Party [Artashes GEGAMIAN, chairman]
  • Law-Governed Party [Artur BAGDASARIAN, chairman]
  • Mission Party [Artush PAPOIAN, chairman]
  • National Democratic Union or NDU Vazgen Manukian
  • National State Party [Samvel SHAGINIAN]
  • People's Party of Armenia (Stepan Demirchian)
  • «Prosperous Armenia» Party or PAP (Գագիկ Ծառուկյան)
  • Republican Party (Andranik Markarian)
  • Shamiram Women's Movement or SWM [Maria NERSISSIAN]
  • Social Democratic Party (Hnchakian) [Yeghia NACHARIAN]
  • Stability Group (Vartan AYVAZIAN, chairman)
  • Union of National Self-Determination or NSDU (Paruir Hairikian, chairman)

International organization participation: BSEC, CE, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ESCAP, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO

See also

Reference

Much of the material in this article comes from the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the 2003 U.S. Department of State website.

Content originally from http://en.wikipedia.org




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