YEREVAN (Armenpress/Yerkir)–Kim Balayan–a former member of the parliament from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF)–was elected in a secret vote Tuesday–to serve on Armenia’s highest judicial body–the Constitutional Court.
Only 85 of 108 present members of parliament participated in the voting–with the opposition Ardarutyun alliance abstaining.
Balayan thanked his former colleagues for the confidence they expressed in him–conveying that his main concern would be to defend the Constitution–and serve as a worthy member of the Constitutional Court. As required by the Constitution–Balayan suspended his membership in the ARF.
Balayan was nominated by the chairman of the National Assembly Arthur Baghdasarian–after a former justice Vladimir Sahakian–resigned when becoming seventy-years-old–as required by law.
Some opposition leaders–including Artashes Geghamian and Manuk Gasparian–without opposing Balayan’s candidacy–pointed to his Karabagh origins. "Some politicians are again maintaining the dangerous position of dividing people based on their birthplace and origins; this trend should be stopped," a parliament member commented at the end of the session that elected Balayan.
Balayan was born in 1947; he graduated from the Faculty of Law of Yerevan State University in 1971–and worked with the same faculty from 1972-75–and in the Ministry of Justice from 1975-1990. He was elected to serve in the Armenian parliament in 1990-1995. In 1999–he began to work in ARF’s legal department–and served as the deputy of the National Assembly from 2002-2003.