The outspoken lawmaker, Naira Zohrabian, was replaced as head of the committee on human rights in late December for what the parliament’s pro-government majority described as offensive comments posted by her on Facebook.
In an apparent attack on hardcore supporters of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, Zohrabian lambasted the “scum” which she said has taken over Armenia and is responsible for its recent misfortunes. She said it must be disenfranchised and even forcibly “educated” for the good of the country.
Deputies from Pashinian’s My Step bloc condemned Zohrabian, saying that she not only insulted hundreds of thousands of Armenians but also called for them to be stripped of their civil rights.
Zohrabian denied insulting anyone and claimed that My Step’s decision to strip her of her parliamentary position is “political persecution” ordered Pashinian. She went on to appeal to the Constitutional Court.
The court ruled on Tuesday that her removal did not breach any constitutional provisions guaranteeing political pluralism and freedom of expression. A spokeswoman for the court, Yeva Tovmasian, said the ruling will be made public later this week.
Zohrabian’s BHK has the second largest group in the current parliament. The party led by businessman Gagik Tsarukian is part of an opposition alliance that has blamed Pashinian for Armenia’s defeat in the recent war in Karabakh and demanded his resignation.