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AZhM Rebels Challenge Their Defeat


By Ruzanna Khachatrian

The pro-government wing of the National Democratic Union (AZhM), locked in a leadership struggle with the parliamentary party’s chairman Vazgen Manukian, on Tuesday refused to accept a weekend decision of its political council supporting the latter. The rebel leaders, who control the party’s smaller executive board, claimed that the meeting was in violation of party rules and its decisions carry no legal force.

“I don’t think that there was actually a meeting that could take any decisions,” said one of them, parliament deputy Filaret Berikian.

In a decision signed by 32 out of its 46 members, the council suspended on Saturday the board and called for the expulsion of its members from the party.

But Berikian alleged that many of the signatures were collected “unlawfully,” adding that at least 23 council members support the anti-Manukian wing dominated by advocates of closer cooperation with the authorities. He said they will hold an alternative meeting of the council at the AZhM headquarters on August 25.

The pro-Manukian council is also scheduled to meet on that day. Berikian said he and his allies are increasingly considering a legal action against their opponents as the only way of resolving the acrimonious dispute.
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