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Another Opposition Party Slams Sarkisian’s Reaction To Corruption Claims


Armenia - Levon Zurabian of the opposition Armenian National Congress at a news conference in Yerevan, 20Dec2012.

Armenia - Levon Zurabian of the opposition Armenian National Congress at a news conference in Yerevan, 20Dec2012.

Another opposition party condemned President Serzh Sarkisian on Thursday for angrily reacting to corruption allegations that were made against his government by an Armenian parliamentary body.

The Armenian National Congress (HAK) said Sarkisian violated the constitution when he summoned the head of the Audit Chamber, Ishkhan Zakarian, to the presidential palace on June 29.

Speaking at a meeting also attended by other top officials, Sarkisian accused Zakarian of overstepping his legal powers with an Audit Chamber report that alleged serious abuses in public procurements handled by various government agencies. He also told Zakarian how he thinks the chamber should operate in the future and issued instructions to prosecutors investigating the report.

A leader of the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation said on Wednesday that these instructions ran counter to the chamber’s independence guaranteed by the Armenian constitution. Levon Zurabian, the HAK’s parliamentary leader, went further, saying that they are sufficient grounds for impeaching the president.

“In front of the entire nation, the current president effectively instructed prosecutors to open criminal cases and specified the scale of abuses that should be investigated, thereby predetermining the outcome of the investigation,” Zurabian told a news conference. “And secondly, which is probably a more blatant thing, he publicly put pressure on the Audit Chamber chairman and the chamber as a whole.”

“If we lived in a normal democratic country, everyone would consider this an overstepping of constitutional powers, illegal pressure on law-enforcement bodies, and obstruction of justice. by the president of Armenia We are talking about grounds for impeaching the president,” he said.

Zurabian did not rule out the possibility of the HAK trying to launch impeachment proceedings against Sarkisian in the National Assembly “at the right moment.”

The parliament is overwhelmingly controlled by presidential allies.
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