Sister Parties Clash In Parliament

14:49 / 12/11/2009

Toward the end of this year, the Armenian parliamentarians, who are
"a bit tired" of "vigorous" law-making activities, have had a nervous

Well, at a special sitting of the RA Parliament, which discussed
and adopted the 2010 draft budget, representatives of the Executive
and Legislature, filled with emotions, gave vent to their feelings,
which resulted in two clashes at a time – one between the "sisters"
forming the ruling coalition, Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP) and the
Republican Party of Armenia (RPA), and the other between the RPA and
the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.

Parliament Vice-Speaker, RPA member Samvel Nikoyan severely criticized
the RA Ministry of Health headed by Harutyun Kushkyan (PAP). In
his turn, Minister Kushkyan made several vain attempts to take
the floor to justify himself, but Speaker Hovik Abrahamyan (RPA),
did not allowed him to. Following the sitting, Minister Kushkyan,
filled with anger, tried to "set matters straight" with his "offender"
in the room for Government members. Passions ran high, but the PAP
member Naira Zohrabyan said that "nothing special happened": the two
just had high words.

However, the Taregir newspaper reports: "Even RPA members cannot keep
silent about the disgraceful practices in the public health sector
despite the fact Harutyun Kushkyan, a member of a sister party, is
in charge of it. The Minister, who decided to ‘set matters straight’
with Nikoyan, called his a liar executing orders and then burst out
spearing, whereupon the two started a hand-to-hand fighting. It was
only Naira Zohrabyan who was calm the two down. We would remind the
reader that at a PACE session Ms. Zohrabyan was able to calm down
a whole ‘battalion’ of Azeri women, so that a couple of hot-blooded
Armenian guys was not a problem for her."

Another incident occurred between RA Minister of Finance Tigran Davtyan
and the ARF faction, after the Minister said that there was no need for
considering the Opposition’s proposals. Vahan Hovhannisyan, Chairman
of the ARF faction commented on the Minister’s statement. He defined
the Minister’s position as unacceptable and severely criticized the
2010 budget. He stressed that RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan’s
attempts to "slur over" the Minister’s blunder failed.

"Everything is clear to everyone. We all have understood the
Government’s principles of dealing with the Opposition," Hovhannisyan
said. He also made comments on the statements on oligopolies in
Armenia by Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan and Parliament Speaker Hovik
Abrahamyan. "Yes, we have oligopolies in Armenia, which, however, be
easily put an end to provided political will is displayed, without
populist statements being made. The only thing to be done is to
expose those behind the oligopolies and take necessary measures,"
Hovhannisyan said. He stressed that the 1998-99 elections and the
second and the 2003 run-off afforded opportunities for that. "But,
unfortunately, it was not done. I do not know whether it can be done
now, the power actually is based on the oligopolies amid widespread
poverty – and poor people are easy to control," Hovhannisyan said.

Naira Zohrabyan too was severely critical of Minister Davtyan. "All
the proposals made by the Opposition must be considered and, if it is
advisable, approved, as well as the one made by the ruling majority,"
she said. Speaking of oligopolies in Armenia, Zohrabyan said that
PAP will do its best to put an end to them. "We will vote for all
the bills and documents aimed at putting an end to this phenomenon,"
she said. Zohrabyan stressed that none of PAP members is behind
the oligopolies.