Friday, 21 September

Parliament's Fall Session Begins: Cafeteria More Attractive than the Chamber

Observing the behavior of many of the deputies at today’s opening of the Armenian Parliament after the long summer vacation, it seemed like the legislators had missed one another.

Some hugged, while others blew kisses across the chamber.

Other than these signs of greeting, their work ethic basically remained the same.

Many were to be seen with their eyes closed, rocking in their seats. Others could be seen talking on the phone.

Quite a few kept gazing at the clock to see when the session would end; signaling their exit from the chamber.

After the legislative agenda was set, almost half the chamber left, pushing their way through the main doors.

At the lunch break, the inviting smell of kebab wafted through the halls. Many MPs, intoxicated by the odor, rushed to the cafeteria. Others merely left for a few shots of whiskey.

A heated exchange took place between Heritage Party MP Zarouhie Postanjyan and Republican Party MP Arakel Movsisyan. The latter didn’t take kindly to the questions posed by Postanjyan to majority MPs and government officials present.

Reporters covering the session also were not immune to snide remarks by majority MPS.

As Republican Party MP Manvel Grigoryan was leaving the chamber, he was approached by A1+ reporter Mher Arshakyan who asked him, “So you’re also fleeing the trenches?”

MP Grigoryan turned and replied, “Damn you, what kind of question is that?”

The reporter was referring to a statement made by President Sargsyan that legislators not attending sessions wouldn’t be tolerated and that, “Those who do are just like soldiers fleeing the trenches.”

But don’t get me wrong. Majority faction MPs just don’t go to work to eat. They also like to push their voting buttons, oftentimes pushing the ‘yes’ button for government bills they haven’t even glanced at. It’s their obligation.

 But they also know how to push the ‘no’ button; especially when bills have been introduced by the opposition.

This is the manner by which many important pieces of legislation are either approved or voted down.

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