By Hrach Melkumian
President Robert Kocharian subjected the Yerevan municipality to blistering criticism on Tuesday, in a rare public outburst of anger. But he was quick to tell city officials that Mayor Robert Nazarian will not be sacked anytime soon.
“The mayor is going to continue to work as mayor for long. There are lots of programs which we have to implement jointly,” Kocharian said at a meeting in the city hall.
Kocharian’s previous public lambasting of the capital’s government-appointed administration in November 2000 resulted in the ouster of then Mayor Albert Bazeyan.
His assurances addressed to Nazarian and, apparently, the media followed a tirade about numerous shortcomings in the work of the municipality. Kocharian singled out chronic problems with water supplies, apartment heating and public health financing, reacting with irritation to virtually every performance report submitted by city officials. Correspondents allowed to be present at the meeting noted that even insignificant details drew his attention
Kocharian complained that a report on last year’s revenues from the sale and rent of municipal land is ambiguous, forcing an embarrassed Nazarian to give an explanation. The mayor put their total amount at 300 million drams ($530,000). The figure should have been much higher, according to the president.