YEREVAN — Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had a working meeting today with President Armen Sarkissian, the press service of the government reported.

Pashinyan was quoted by the press service as saying that the past year was successful for the country. He also said after the post-revolutionary period of transitional management, now more attention should be paid to institutional reforms.

“The development of institutions, the introduction of a system of checks and balances has always been and is in the focus of our attention. We also responded to the situation around the Constitutional Court, and today, I hope we will discuss and exchange views on this issue as well,” Pashinyan was quoted as saying.

Pashinyan said he shares Sarkissian’s position that this issue should be approached precisely according to the logic of the country’s institutional development, national and state interests, the availability of an accurate and effective system of checks and balances.

“Only under this condition will we have an irreversible democracy, an irreversible rule of law with all the ensuing consequences, and, of course, an irreversible constitutional reality, which has always been in the center of our attention and at the basis of our working discussions,” Pashinyan added.

Sarkissian expressed readiness for discussion. “What you said is very significant – the development of institutions in our country, balanced institutions, because if we are talking about long-term, stable development is impossible without them,” he stressed. According to the president, it is also worth discussing upcoming investment programs.

“I can say with pleasure that, as it seems, there are new small victories we had during my visits to the Gulf countries, Davos and Israel,” Sarkissian said.

The tension between Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and the chairman of the Constitutional Court Hrayr Tovmasyan continues to mount. Tovmasyan is accused by the Armenian authorities of breaking laws and having close connections with the country’s former government toppled in 2018 Velvet Revolution. A resolution passed by the parliament dominated by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s My Step faction on October 4 demanded that Tovmasyan stepped down.

The demand was denied by the Constitutional Court on October 15. This was followed by a series of criminal proceedings against Tovmasyan launched by law-enforcement authorities. The Special Investigation Service said Tovmasyan’s appointment as chairman of the Constitutional Court in March 2018 by the country’s former parliament was illegal.

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