By Astghik Bedevian
Elected MPs of an opposition party led by Armenia’s ex-parliament speaker have finally collected their parliamentary credentials after a week’s delay.
Eight members of Artur Baghdasarian’s pro-western Orinats Yerkir voted into the National Assembly in last month’s legislative elections received their mandates at the Central Electoral Commission on Wednesday.
According to Orinats Yerkir’s central headquarters, Artur Baghdasarian accompanied by several members of his party left for Vanadzor on a business trip later in the day.
Baghdasarian’s deputy Mher Shahgeldian told RFE/RL that Orinats Yerkir has not yet picked their faction’s leader and secretary.
However, Baghdasarian is likely to take charge. Another senior Orinats Yerkir member, Heghine Bisharian, is likely to get the secretary’s position.
“We all will be represented in standing committees,” Shahgeldian added.
However, no applications from Orinats Yerkir for membership in committees have been received at the National Assembly yet.
Meanwhile, ex-foreign minister Raffi Hovannisian’s Heritage party, which like Orinats Yerkir until yesterday refused to pick up their parliamentary mandates pending the Constitutional Court’s review of election appeals, held their first meeting at the National Assembly today. The seven-member faction elected Hovannisian their head and Stepan Safarian secretary. It also adopted its statutes.
The Heritage deputies nominated their members to be involved in several standing committees. In particular, Armenia’s first ombudswoman Larisa Alaverdian was proposed for the parliament’s committee on European integration, theology professor Vartan Khachatrian for the defense, national security and internal affairs committee, educator Anahit Bakhshian for science, education, culture, youth and sport affairs, political scientist Stepan Safarian for foreign relations committee, civil rights lawyer Zaruhi Postanjian for state and legal issues committee, and university lecturer Armen Martirosian for the committee on social, health and environmental issues.