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Grisha Balasanyan

Margara Elects a Non-Republican Party of Armenia Mayor

Two candidates were vying, in yesterday’s election, for the post of mayor in Margara, a village of some 1,500 on the border with Turkey, in Armenia’s Armavir Province.

One was Republican Party of Armenia candidate Khachatur Asatryan (photo), the village mayor since 2006. The other was 30-year-old Edgar Yenokyan, a non-partisan candidate supported by the Prosperous Armenia Party.

644 of 1,028 eligible voters in Margara cast their ballots and a majority - 433 - voted for Yenokyan, thus ending the 22-year-term of the incumbent mayor.

In 2009, after the foreign ministers of Armenia and Turkey signed the Zurich protocols designed to normalize relations between the two neighboring countries, life in Margara, the closest border crossing to Turkey from Yerevan, got a shot in the arm -  interstate roads were reconstructed, the rich started buying plots there for further business projects.

But the protocols languished, and Margara reverted to its former sleepy self. It’s been all but neglected by government officials in Yerevan.

Margara’s local roads and the communal cultural center are in poor shape and need capital renovation. Upgrading the drinking water network and street lights is also a priority issue.