Every 5 July is Constitution Day in Armenia, a national public holiday that looks back to the day in 1995 when newly independent Armenia adopted its first constitution. The new constitution was approved by over 70 percent of the people in a national referendum.
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Armenia declared its independence from the USSR in 1990, and it worked on a draft of a constitution and a revision of the first draft up until 1993. The opposition party objected to the draft and it wasn’t until 1995 that an agreeable constitution was put forward and voted on.
The ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh War, involving a border dispute with neighbouring Azerbaijan, also delayed the adoption of a constitution in Armenia.
Once adopted, the 1995 constitution provided for a democratically elected, unitary (not federal), multi-party government. The capital city was also designated as Yerevan.
In 2005, a major revision to the 1995 constitution was also passed by referendum, gaining 95 percent approval. The changes were meant to pave the way for Armenia joining the EU.
Leading up to Constitution Day, some schools in Armenia put a special focus on Armenia’s constitution, history, and laws. Many people will be off work and out of school on Constitution Day itself so they have time to relax with family and take part in festive events.
The day is celebrated with parades, speeches and more. And many in Yerevan will visit the famous Vernissage arts-and-crafts market in Republic Square.