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Seda Ghukasyan

Armenian Parliament Strips Opposition Leader from Vice Speaker Post

The Armenian National Assembly today, in a special session, stripped Ishkhan Saghatelyan, the public face of recent anti-government protests in Yerevan, from the post of parliamentary speaker.

66 MPs, all from the ruling Civil Contract party, voted in favor of the motion given Saghatelyan’s “inexcusable absences” from the parliament over the past weeks.

Saghatelyan, an ARF member, is an MP in the Hayastan (Armenia) faction headed by former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan.

He was elected to the post of vice speaker in August 2021.

Following the vote to remove him as deputy speaker, Saghatelyan accused the ruling faction of politically persecuting him for his anti-government stance.

Saghatelyan said the ruling faction’s charge that he spread hate speech was ludicrous and labeled PM Nikol Pashinyan and his team as the real embodiment of such language.

“Recall that man's words. He said he'd cut off the hands of the opposition and will break their jaws and pin them flat on the asphalt. He conducted an election campaign brandishing a hammer," Saghatelyan said.

In a second vote, Civil Contract MPs stripped Hayastan faction MP Vahe Hakobyan from the post of chairman of the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs.

The MPs argued that Hakobyan was also inexcusably absent from the work of the parliament and failed to reside at eleven of the twenty-seven sessions of the committee.

The Armenian parliament’s ruling Civil Contract party hasn’t yet decided to launch the formal process to terminate the powers of other opposition MPs who have boycotted the work of the legislature for weeks.

Parliament Speaker Alen Simonyan has repeatedly said inexcusable absences will not be tolerated.

Comments (1)

Mariam H
The Armenian parliament is a zoo, designed to promote hate and devision.

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