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Armenia Commemorates Constitution Day

Constitution Day is a public holiday in Armenia.

Constitution Day: July 5

Constitution Day is a public holiday in Armenia.

July 5, 1915 was the day in which by referendum the Armenian people approved the Constitution of the Armenian Republic. In its article 117, the constitution sets the date of July 5 to be celebrated as Constitution Day in Armenia.

History of Constitution Day in Armenia

In 1991, the Soviet Union fell apart, and Armenia, as a former member of the Soviet Union, reestablished its independence. At the end of 1992, a draft of the constitution was presented to the government and political parties, and in March 1993 they put forward a revised version of the document.

However, during 1994, the opposition parties presented their own version of a constitution leading to disagreement. It wasn’t until 1995 that Armenia managed to put to referendum a new constitution. Armenians then voted unanimously to adopt the new constitution that recognized Armenia as a unitary, multi-party, democratic nation state. Yerevan was defined as the Armenian capital, and power was vested in the citizens to exercise their right to elect government representatives.

In 2005, a new referendum was held to revise the constitution in order for Armenia to be able to join the Council of Europe. There were reports of anomalies in the process of the referendum, but still the changes were accepted by 94.5% votes for the changes. Even as the opposition struggled to protest against the government’s handling of the process, the general population of Armenia remained steadfast in their opinion of the results, and the changes to the constitution were approved.

Armenia’s Constitution Day Traditions, Customs and Activities

Constitution Day is an opportunity to relax and rest from work. At schools there are events that focus on the constitution and Armenian law and educate children in their rights and obligations as Armenian citizens.

At the Government level there are the usual televised speeches that bring forth the importance of the constitution and what it represents for the future of Armenia. Yet, around the country there is a generalized feeling that these speeches are somewhat plastic. In Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia, it is a day to visit the Yerevan’s Vernissage, an arts and crafts market close to the Republic Square, with hundreds of vendors that sell everything from woodcarvings to hand knotted wool carpets.

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