By Ruzanna Stepanian
A senior parliament employee from Orinats Yerkir has called the decision to sack four dozen staffers affiliated with the party “a personnel slaughter” pursuing far-going political goals.
National Assembly Legal Service Chief Suren Mamikonian filed a lawsuit with a Yerevan lower court asking the judiciary to overturn the decision, which he claimed violated the country’s labor laws.
Mamikonian puts the blame on Parliament Chief of Staff Hayk Kotanian who about a month ago warned 40 Orinats Yerkir members that they would be relieved of their duties beginning on October 1 of this year due to “ongoing structural reforms in the staff”.
Mamikonian, an Orinats Yerkir member and one of the 40 staffers to be laid off, is going to dispute the legality of Kotanian’s paper in court.
In an RFE/RL interview he described the document presented to them by Kotanian as ‘half-literate, drawn up with violations of the law.” In particular, he said the document violated the Labor Code and the Law on Civil Servants. Kotanian refused to answer the accusations.
In summer two departments, two services and one secretariat were abolished in the Armenian legislature.
During a recent press conference Parliament Speaker Tigran Torosian said the abolished services had nothing to do with the National Assembly.
But the move was widely perceived as another manifestation of political revenge against the former ally Orinats Yerkir.
Former Armenian parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian joined the opposition three months ago following a policy disagreement with President Robert Kocharian. Since then his Orinats Yerkir party and its members have been under constant administrative pressure at different levels.