Vahakn Karakashian: “Diaspora Armenians can be engaged in the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia”

In an interview with Hayern Aysor, touching upon the proposal of Minister of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia Mkhitar Hayrapetyan to create a bicameral parliament, Editor-in-Chief of Canada’s Horizon Weekly Vahakn Karakashian said that, in line with that proposal, it is also possible to take into consideration another option, that is, the engagement of representatives of Armenian communities of the Diaspora in the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia.

“France, Italy, Portugal, Tunisia, Croatia, Ecuador, Algeria and other countries have chosen this option, each with its special electoral laws. For instance, the Diaspora of Tunisia, which consists of 1 million Tunisians, has 18 Members of Parliament from abroad in a National Assembly consisting of 217 Members of Parliament. In different periods, the French Diaspora has had 12 MPs out of 331 MPs, the Italian Diaspora has had 12 MPs out of 630 MPs, the Algerian Diaspora has had 8 MPs out of 389 MPs, the Croatian Diaspora has had 6 MPs out of 152 MPs and the Ecuadorian Diaspora has had 6 MPs out of 130 MPs,” Vahakn Karakashian stated, adding that such an electoral law may lead to the emergence of various issues and problems in Armenia in terms of voting, starting from dual citizenship and ending with issues related to the electoral format for Armenian communities of the Diaspora.

“First of all, we need to specify the number of Armenians with Armenian citizenship in every community of the Diaspora. Next, we need to specify the number of MPs of every country or continent that have the right to vote. In Italy’s case, it is accepted to distribute Italian MPs according to four geographical areas, including Europe, South, North and Central Americas, Africa and Asia and Oceania. Following Italy’s example, Armenia can distribute the geographical areas in the following way: Russia and former Soviet countries, the Americas, the Middle East and Europe. Indeed, the above-mentioned proposals will be considered and analyzed perspicaciously,” Vahakn Karakashian concluded.

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