The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) insisted on Wednesday that one of its well-known members who governed a big village near Yerevan was gunned down for political reasons.
Hrach Muradian, the mayor of Proshian village, was shot dead outside his office on Tuesday morning. Nobody has been arrested on related charges so far.
“There was definitely a political subtext,” said Armen Rustamian, a Dashnaktsutyun leader. “The authorities are doing everything to hide that subtext.”
“We have long brought to the authorities’ attention the fact that there is constant tension around Hrach for a very simple reason: some people were not interested in the popularity enjoyed by Hrach. The existence of a mayor not belonging to their party and running a large community so close to Yerevan kept many people restless,” Rustamian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
Rustamian declined to name concrete names. He said only that Muradian was at odds with local activists of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and other government loyalists throughout his eight-year tenure. He said the Proshian mayor received threats from unknown individuals and faced frequent financial audits by other higher-level authorities.
“They realized that they can’t do that through elections and switched to the well-known methods,” claimed the head of Dashnaktsutyun’s governing body in Armenia.
The Armenian police say they have questioned Proshian residents in connection with the killing. But no suspects have been arrested or identified yet.
Rustamian sounded pessimistic about chances of the investigators identifying the masterminds and perpetrators of the crime. He said that many political killings committed in Armenia in the past remain unsolved.