By Astghik Bedevian
The only opposition party represented in Armenia’s parliament said on Tuesday that it will turn down a likely offer to head one of the standing committees of the National Assembly.
The government-controlled assembly on Monday voted to increase the number of those commissions from 9 to 12. It is expected that two of the three new panels, which will deal with agriculture, social affairs and local government, will be chaired by members of Orinats Yerkir, one of the four parties represented in Armenia’s government. The other post is likely to be offered to the opposition Zharangutyun party of Raffi Hovannisian.
“Zharangutyun will be offered to take the post of chairman of one of the parliament’s standing committees,” confirmed Naira Zohrabian, a parliament deputy from another governing party, Prosperous Armenia. “To my knowledge, Zharangutyun will be free to choose which one.”
The Armenian authorities will likely present the move as a further indication of their compliance with a resolution on the post-election situation in Armenia adopted by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) last month. The resolution says, among other things, that the opposition minority in the Armenian parliament should play a greater role in the legislative process.
Stepan Safarian, one of the seven Zharangutyun deputies in the 131-member parliament, said the offer “has nothing to do with the PACE resolution” and will be rejected by his party. “This is a bill that was prepared within the framework of intra-coalition agreements and serves coalition goals,” he told reporters.
(Photolur photo: Stepan Safarian.)