An opposition bloc represented in Yerevan’s municipal assembly challenged the legality of Mayor Taron Markarian’s failed to attempt to sharply raise public transport fares in Armenia’s Administrative Court on Wednesday.
The Barev Yerevan bloc linked to Raffi Hovannisian’s Zharangutyun party filed a lawsuit asking the court to declare illegal relevant directives that were signed by him in June.
Their entry into force last month sparked street protests that forced Markarian to suspend the unpopular measure. The municipality is expected to revisit the issue after receiving recommendations from an ad hoc commission on public transport formed late last month.
Stepan Safarian, an opposition member of the city’s Council of Elders, claimed that Markarian’s decisions contained “countless errors” as he and another Barev Yerevan councilor, Anahit Bakhshian, challenged them in the court. They claimed in particular that the mayor had no right to raise fares all over the city because tariff hikes were requested by transport firms operating less than half of the municipal bus, minibus and trolleybus routes.
Safarian also repeated a Barev Yerevan argument that the decision regarding the fares began to be enforced several days before being publicized. This, he said, constitutes a serious violation of Armenian law.
The Mayor’s Office did not immediately react to the opposition lawsuit