RCDS insights: baku pushes for a new armenian constitution

RCDS insights: baku pushes for a new armenian constitution





On January 18, Nikol Pashinyan called for a new constitution for Armenia, citing the need to enhance the country’s viability amidst changing geopolitical dynamics, emphasizing that he is not talking about a change in governance.




On December 6, Azerbaijan's President, Ilham Aliyev, expressed Baku's anticipations for assurances against potential Armenian revanchism. 

After these statements, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan hinted that some of the wording in the foundational documents of the Republic of Armenia were problematic and needed to be changed. 

Both Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev were likely addressing a particular section of the Constitution's preamble. That section includes a reference to the 1989 decision made by the Soviet authorities of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh regarding the reunification of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh in the Declaration of Independence.

Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan confirmed that Baku has such a demand. Ruling party officials have begun justifying the need for this change citing security concerns and the need to safeguard the eventual signing of a peace treaty.. 


Risks and Implications


  • There is a high likelihood that Armenian society will reject this proposed change.  By anchoring the success of the process in this demand, both Baku and Yerevan run the risk of diminishing the prospects for a negotiated settlement in the foreseeable future.
  • Even if the authorities succeed in changing the Constitution, it would deal a severe blow to the legal foundations of the nation. A constitution created under the coercion of Azerbaijan would inherently lack legitimacy. 
  • Future governments might contest the changed constitution, and efforts to revert to the original version, which would likely be backed by public support, could introduce the potential for geopolitical destabilization in the region..
  • Baku's demands are largely symbolic, intending to humiliate the Armenian authorities and society by interfering in Armenia's internal affairs. These demands serve to create new grievances.