A senior opposition lawmaker alleged on Friday serious violations during a parliamentary vote of confidence that was secured by Armenia’s newly reshuffled government on Thursday.
According to official results of the vote boycotted by the opposition factions, 70 of the 131 members of the National Assembly backed a policy program submitted by Prime Minister Abrahamian, just enough for its passage. Virtually all of them represent the ruling Republican Party (HHK).
Levon Zurabian, the parliament leader of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), claimed that some of the HHK deputies were too drunk to be able to vote. “You only need to watch video that shows two Republican deputies voting in place of their absent colleagues,” he told a news conference. “Those were drunk deputies who were made to come to the auditorium in order to vote even in an unconscious or half-conscious condition.”
Some of the journalists who covered the parliament session named at least two drunk HHK deputies in their news reports. An amateur video posted on the Internet shows Arayik Grigorian struggling to maintain balance as a colleague helps him leave the parliament auditorium.
The pro-opposition daily “Haykakan Zhamanak” said moments before that Grigorian swore at opposition lawmakers and made aggressive gestures on the parliament floor, embarrassing his brother, Environment Minister Aramayis Grigorian, present at the session.
The paper as well as several other media outlets also claimed that another visibly drunk deputy, Arakel Movsisian fell down cause of his drunkenness. Movsisian is notorious for verbally abusing opposition lawmakers and deputies.
Vahram Baghdasarian, the HHK’s parliamentary leader, denied any procedural violations. He also claimed that he did not notice any drunk members of his faction.