National Assembly (Armenia)

The National Assembly of Armenia (Armenian: Հայաստանի Հանրապետության Ազգային ժողով, Hayastani Hanrapetyut'yan Azgayin zhoghov or simply Ազգային ժողով, ԱԺ Azgayin Zhoghov, AZh), also informally referred to as the Parliament of Armenia (խորհրդարան, khorhrdaran) is the legislative branch of the government of Armenia.

National Assembly

Ազգային ժողով
8th convocation of the National Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Founded1 August 1918, reestablished 5 July 1995
Preceded bySupreme Council of the Republic of Armenia
Alen Simonyan, Civil Contract
since 2 August 2021
Political groups
Government (71)
  •   Civil Contract (71)

Opposition (36)

Length of term
5 years
Majority bonus system with a 5% threshold for parties and a 7% threshold for alliances
Last election
20 June 2021
Next election
Meeting place
The Armenian National Assembly sits in the National Assembly Building in Yerevan
National Assembly Building
19 Baghramyan Avenue
Yerevan, 0095
National Assembly of Armenia
Aerial view of the building and premises



The National Assembly was originally established in 1918 as the Khorhurd (Armenian: Խորհուրդ) by the Armenian National Council following their declaration of independence.[1] Acting as the nation's provisional legislative body, the Armenian National Council tripled its membership, forming an interim coalition government composed of Dashnaks and Populists.[2]

Following the Armenian parliamentary elections of 1919, the National Assembly's membership increased again up to 80 deputies including several minority representatives. The Khorhurd continued to function with an overwhelming Dashnak majority through four Prime Ministers in the span of two years, until the Sovietisation of Armenia in 1920.[3]

From 1938, the National Assembly of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic was referred to as the Supreme Council of Armenia. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the adoption of the new Constitution of Armenia in 1995, the formation of the current National Assembly was established.

The National Assembly is a unicameral body. The National Assembly consists of at least 101 seats, but with additional seats allocated, it may grow and reach to about 200 seats in extremely rare cases.[4][better source needed] The President of the National Assembly is Alen Simonyan.

Electoral system


After electoral system amendments introduced in April 2021 members of parliament are elected only through closed party lists by party list proportional representation method.[5][6]

Four mandates are reserved for national minorities, provided they are included in corresponding section of party lists. Any top segment of a party list can not include over 70% of representatives of the same sex.

Parties need to pass 5% of votes and alliances (blocs) 7% threshold respectively to be included in mandate distribution.

By law, parliament must have at least 3 political forces present, even if one or more of them did not pass the electoral threshold. In this case, the sheer percentage decides which party enters parliament, regardless of whether it is a party or a bloc.

If neither party wins over 50% of mandates in the first round and no coalition with sufficient mandates is established within 6 days after the election results announcement a second round of elections will be carried out on 28th day of the first round voting. Two best-performing political forces are allowed to participate in the second round. All mandates received as per first round will be preserved. The party (or a newly formed coalition) which wins second round of elections will be given additional number of mandates to reach 54% of all seats (provided the newly formed coalition does not already have over 54% of mandates from the results of the first round).

If any party or bloc wins over 2/3 of mandates sufficient additional mandates are distributed among all other political forces represented in the parliament to ensure that at least 1/3 of all seats are held by forces other than the winning one.

Since the requirement of assignment of 1/3 of all mandates to non-ruling parties is stipulated by the Constitution some argue, that when withdrawal of oppositional MPs leads to violation of that rule the ruling party shall be forced to call new snap elections. This is however not a consensus opinion and probably shall be dealt with in Constitutional Court.[7]

Historically, significant share of cast votes (1995: 12.8%, 1999: 18.6%, 2003: 24.0%, 2007: 24.7%, 2012: 1.6%, 2017: 9.1%, 2018: 14.9%, 2021: 19.8%) fell below election threshold and was disregarded in mandate distribution.[8]



Speakers of the Parliament of the First Republic of Armenia (1918–1920)


Chairmen of the Supreme Council (1990–1995)


Presidents of the National Assembly (1995–)


Vice-Presidents of the National Assembly


Latest election


Current political representation in the National Assembly following the 2021 Armenian parliamentary election:

Civil Contract688,76153.9571–17[a]
Armenia Alliance269,48121.1129New
I Have Honor Alliance66,6505.226New
Prosperous Armenia50,4443.950–26
Hanrapetutyun Party38,7583.0400
Armenian National Congress19,6911.5400
Shirinyan-Babajanyan Alliance of Democrats19,2121.5000
National Democratic Pole18,9761.490New
Bright Armenia15,5911.220–18
5165 National Conservative Movement Party15,5491.220New
Liberal Party14,9361.170New
Homeland of Armenians Party13,1301.030New
Armenia is Our Home Party12,1490.950New
Democratic Party of Armenia5,0200.3900
Awakening National Christian Party4,6190.360New
Free Homeland Alliance4,1190.320New
Sovereign Armenia Party3,9150.310New
Fair Armenia Party3,9140.310New
Citizen's Decision3,7750.3000
European Party of Armenia2,4400.190New
Freedom Party1,8440.1400
Rise Party1,2330.100New
United Homeland Party9640.080New
All-Armenian National Statehood Party8030.060New
National Agenda Party7190.060New
Valid votes1,276,69399.63
Invalid/blank votes4,6820.37
Total votes1,281,375100.00
Registered voters/turnout2,595,33449.37
Source:, CEC, Hetq


Birds eye view of National Assembly building

Standing Committees


The National Assembly has eleven standing committees:

  • Standing Committee on Defense and Security
  • Standing Committee on Economic Affairs
  • Standing Committee on European Integration
  • Standing Committee on Financial and Budgeting Affairs
  • Standing Committee on Foreign Relations
  • Standing Committee on Health Care and Social Affairs
  • Standing Committee on Human Rights and Public Affairs
  • Standing Committee on Science, Education, Culture, Diaspora, Youth and Sport
  • Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs
  • Standing Committee on Territorial Administration, Local Self-Government, Agriculture and Environment
  • Standing Committee on Territorial Integration

Changes according to the Constitutional Reform of 2015


According to the new constitution of Armenia (2015 Constitutional Reforms), the functions of committees previously defined as ad hoc committees are divided into temporary and inquiry committees. As stated in article 107 of the new Constitution, temporary committees may be developed only by the decision of the National Assembly to discuss certain draft laws and acts of the National Assembly and present views or statements connected to the National Assembly.

Article 108 is about the inquiry committees of the National Assembly.

1. The inquiry committee should be formed if at least the twenty-five percent of the total number of parliamentarians present the demand, in order to acquaint facts of public interests to the National Assembly.

2. The National Assembly regulates the number of members of an inquiry committee. The places of the inquiry committees should be proportional to the number of faction's members. The chair of the committee should be the member of the parliament who presented a request.

3. If minimum one-quarter of an inquiry committee demands; state, local self-government bodies and officials are compelled to introduce to the committee required information regarding its remit, if the information is not classified as secrets protected by law.

All the other regulations concerning temporary and inquiry committee should be established by the Law on Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly.[9]

Concerns relating to the ad hoc committees and the international experience


According to the latest Constitutional Reforms Armenia will have a parliamentary state governance system. This means that compared to the semi-presidential system the powers of the Parliament will be enhanced, an example of this is the right of oversight of the executive power of the republic which is and will be exercised by the Government (as of article 85 of the current and article 145 the new Constitutions). So, the Parliament will have more powers and functions; therefore, it needs more tools to exercise these powers and perform its functions. An inquiry committee is a great tool for the parliament to exercise oversight and that is why according to articles 107 and 108 of the new Constitution there is a differentiation between temporary and inquiry committees.

However, in late 2015, there was a concern relating to the powers of these committees as prescribed by the article 108 of the new Constitution. Edmon Marukyan, the only non-party Deputy of the National Assembly of Armenia, suggested an addendum to the point 3 of article 108. According to him, the addendum should prescribe that the inquiry committees should be empowered to demand state and local self-government body officials to be present in the sittings of the committees and provide relevant explanations. The improvement was suggested for the first time on 11 September 2015, during the session of the Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs of the National Assembly. By then, the suggestion received a positive feedback and the committee members stated that it could be approved on the constitutional level. However, the decision on the official proposal to the National Assembly was to include the addendum in the rules of procedure of the NA rather than in the Constitution.[10]

The international experience shows that giving such powers to inquiry committees is a common thing. Point 7 of rule 176 of the Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament states that "A committee of inquiry may contact the institutions or persons referred to in Article 3 of the Decision referred to in paragraph 2 with a view to holding a hearing or obtaining documents."[11] Even though it was prescribed neither by the Constitution nor the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly that temporary committees have the power to hold a hearing with the presence of state and local self-government body officials, there was such a case when the committee held a closed-door hearing. On 23 October 2008 with the order of the President of Armenia, a temporary committee of experts was formed on obtaining facts and evidence on the incidents of 1 March 2008. So as to gain the necessary information the committee was given the tools typical to a real parliamentarian inquiry committee.

Ad hoc committees as prescribed by the Constitution and Laws


Ad hoc committees are special temporary committees established by the decision of the National Assembly to discuss certain draft laws, or investigate certain issues, events or facts and to submit conclusions to the National Assembly. The aim of these committees is to draw attention to exceptional cases that are not covered by the standing committees.

According to the Constitution of Armenia, Article 73 "If appropriate, interim committees may be established as prescribed by the law on the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly for preliminary discussion of certain draft laws or for submitting to the National Assembly opinions, statements on certain issues, events and facts". Following the consideration and definition in the Constitution the Law on Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly clearly defines all the issues concerning the add hoc committees. More particularly, according to the article 22 of the mentioned law, add hoc committees are created by the decision of the National Assembly. The decision should contain information relating to the tasks, terms and procedures of an add hoc committee, meaning that the committee should operate only in very strict limitations set to the spheres of its investigation, the resources it may gain access to and also to the timeframes. The ultimate reason for existence of such committees is to deliver a report on its finding during a session of the National Assembly. Based on these reports, the Deputy may create a draft resolution in 2 days and if agreed by the Lead Committee, the resolution may be included in the draft agenda for upcoming four-day session.

Ad hoc committees: their goals, procedures, and results


Committee on Ethics


One of the current add hoc committees of the National Assembly of Armenia is the Committee on Ethics. This is not a classical add hoc committee as it does exist during every session of the National Assembly but the committee functions till the beginning of the successive session when a new committee is formed.

According to the Article 24.1 of the Law of the Republic of Armenia on the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly, each faction has the right to nominate at least 1 Deputy to the ethics committee. The chairperson of the committee and the vice-chairperson are appointed from the members of the committee by the nomination of faction, although the Chairperson of the National Assembly is the one to appoint the chairperson of the ethics committee, the vice chairperson, and to approve other members. If the chairperson of the ethics committee is from a non-opposition faction, the vice chairperson should be from the opposition faction and the vice versa. Factions have the right to change their representative in the ethics committee.

According to the Article 24.2 of the Law of the Republic of Armenia on the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly the ethics committee provides conclusion to the National Assembly on violation by a Deputy of the requirements not to be engaged in entrepreneurial activities, not to hold offices in state or commercial organizations, and not to perform other paid work except for scientific, pedagogical or creative work (1st Paragraph of the Article 65 of the Constitution). The committee also decides if there was a violation of 2nd Paragraph of the Article 6.1 of the mentioned law i.e. the very basic requirements to abide the laws, to respect moral norms of the society, to be respectful to the colleagues, not to be guided by personal interests and so on, provides a Deputy with conclusion if his/her job is scientific, pedagogical or creative and more. The Committee on Ethics can require and obtain materials and documents relevant to the issues examined by the committee from any state agency; it can also demand to the state agencies with the exception of courts, judges and prosecutors to carry out checks, studies and expert examinations on the issues examined in the committee. The members of the ethics committee are free to enter any state institution or to examine any document relating to the case.

Any individual can apply to the committee on ethics in cases prescribed by the law. The applicant should submit a written application with all the relevant documents. By proposal of the chairperson of the ethics committee but no later than ten days the committee starts the examination of the issue raised in the application or rejects its examination. The committee on ethics finishes its examination of the issue in 30 days after starting an examination; it may also extend the deadline by 20 days in case of necessity to implement a deeper research.

The sittings of the committee are closed except of cases when the Deputy in the application suggests holding an open sitting. Sitting of the committee is valid if at least half of the members are present, and the sitting is held by the chairperson of the committee, the vice chairperson, or another member according to the prescriptions of the law. Member of the committee assigned for the examination of the issue is the main reporter and the Deputy indicated in the application is the supplementary reporter. The decisions and conclusions of the committee are adopted by the majority of votes if more than half of the members participated in the voting. The content of the application and name of the Deputy indicated in the application are not publicly available until the adoption of the final decision. The members of the ethics committee and other people participating in the activities of the committee cannot publicize details of the examination.[12]

One of the recent cases in this committee was an application indicating names of several Deputies and reporting that they voted instead for other Deputies during the voting. After examining the application, listening to the committee member appointed for the case and to the accused Deputies the committee on ethics found them guilty of violating the duty to abide the laws. Also, in order to eliminate this kind of issues in the future, the committee made a suggestion to make supplements and changes in the Law of the Republic of Armenia on the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly more specifically consider voting instead for other Deputies disturbance of the order and enforce the presiding officer to take immediate disciplinary measures against these Deputies that is depriving the Deputy from the right to be present during the session of the National Assembly. The National Assembly approved this suggestion.[13]

Ad hoc Committee on Studying the Activity of the Gas Supply System in Armenia


This committee was established in February 2014 to examine the protection level of natural gas consumers' interests (calories of supplied gas, testing gas usage counters, argumentations for the loss), examine the lawfulness of the accumulation of debt for natural gas during 2011–2013 and reasonableness of the amount of debt, to make predictions about the possibilities of alternative gas importers and other thoroughly listed issues relating to the gas supply system in Armenia as a whole including examination of prices for the gas and international practices.

The committee hold closed sittings, the decisions and conclusions were adopted by the majority of votes, the committee had the right to require and obtain materials and documents relevant to the issues examined by the committee from any state agency; it can also demand to the state agencies with the exception of courts, judges and prosecutors to carry out checks, studies and expert examinations on the issues examined in the committee and so on.[14] The committee presented its findings and conclusion during the session of the National Assembly of 7 April 2015.[15]

See also



  1. ^ "Республика Армения". Retrieved 1 August 2023.
  2. ^ Hovannisian, Richard G. (1971–1996). The Republic of Armenia. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 42. ISBN 0-520-01805-2. OCLC 238471.
  3. ^ Elections in Asia and the Pacific : a data handbook. Dieter Nohlen, Florian Grotz, Christof Hartmann. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2001. ISBN 0-19-924958-X. OCLC 48585734.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ "Google Sheets – create and edit spreadsheets online, for free".
  5. ^ hy. "Electoral Code of RA". Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  6. ^ "Parliamentary elections 2017. OSCE/ODIHR Needs Assessment Mission Report". Retrieved 1 August 2023.
  7. ^ "Newspaper: Prosperous Armenia Party threatens with snap parliamentary election". Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Latest Poll Numbers Imply a False Majority Election Outcome". 24 May 2021. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  9. ^ "Draft of Constitutional Amendments". Retrieved 1 August 2023.
  10. ^ "ԱԺ քննիչ հանձնաժողովները պետք է օժտված լինեն իրական լծակներով". Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament – September 2005 – Rule 176 – Committees of inquiry". Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  12. ^ "National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia – Official Web Site –". Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  13. ^ Voroshum 18 February 2016
  14. ^ Committee report
  15. ^ "Հայռուսգազարդի կապիտալում Հայաստանի կառավարության բաժնետոմսերի 20 տոկոսի օտարումն օրինական է եղել. հանձնաժողովի եզրակացությունը". Retrieved 28 June 2017.


  1. ^ Compared to the My Step Alliance.

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