By Karine Kalantarian
Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian insisted on Thursday that he was not behind the recent creation of a new political party that has staked a claim to a role in Armenia’s next government to be formed after next year’s parliamentary election.
“I have said repeatedly that I am not engaged in party building,” he said. “You may say something once and everyone will understand. But you may say something for ten times and not everyone will understand.”
Hovsepian was commenting on allegations by a top leader of the governing Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), Hrant Markarian, that he is illegally sponsoring the Association for Armenia party. Some of the party’s leaders have close ties with the influential prosecutor.
“The current prosecutor of the Republic of Armenia has no right to create a party. Neither directly, nor indirectly,” Markarian told the newspaper “Iravunk” last week. He repeated his view in an interview with RFE/RL on Tuesday.
Markarian also accused Hovsepian of behaving like a “feudal ruler” of the central Aragatsotn province which is governed by a member of Dashnaktsutyun. Reports in the Dashnaktsutyun-controlled media have said the Prosecutor-General’s Office has conducted politically motivated inspections of local government agencies and schools in recent weeks.
One of the Aragatsotn districts, Aparan, is known as the stronghold of Hovsepian’s Nig-Aparan organization uniting prominent natives of the area. The Association for Armenia plans to make a strong showing there.
“The people know well who is who,” Hovsepian told RFE/RL after inaugurating a new U.S.-funded forensic laboratory of Armenia’s law-enforcement bodies. He refused to answer more questions.
(Photolur photo: Aghvan Hovsepian.)