A New Low For Armenia’s Ruling Party

Opposition member Zaruhi Postanjian and ruling Republican Party leader in Parliament Vahram Baghdassarian


BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN

The bullying tactics by leading figures of Armenia’s oligarch-infested ruling Republican Party of Armenia unfortunately have become commonplace in Armenia’s socio-political reality. But, remarks Tuesday in parliament by the leader of the ruling party’s coalition, which were reminiscent of Soviet-era tactics, takes the cake for how far the governing forces will go to stifle dissenting forces, even in the country’s legislature.

Reacting to comments made by opposition lawmakers regarding the President Serzh Sarkisian’s abhorrent human rights record, the Republican Party of Armenia’s parliamentary faction leader Vahram Baghdassarian accused his fellow lawmakers of perpetuating Turkish and Azerbaijani propaganda from the dais, saying they were being under the influence of petrodollars, from Baku.

On Monday Zaruhi Postanjian of the opposition Heritage Party took the podium to discuss human rights violations rampant under the Serzh Sarkisian administration. While she was addressing parliament, the ruling party controlling the session opted to shut off her microphone in an effort to stifle her speech.

During Tuesday’s session, Baghdassarian went a step further to brand his colleague a traitor.

“Yesterday, we witnessed classic example of high treason,” said Baghdassarian. “The National Assembly’s dais was used to spread Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s disinformation. False information was made public here ahead of a meeting between the president of our country and the president of an unfriendly country.”

“It is clear to me that quite a lot of money has been flowing here from the West and some of our colleagues have been carrying out orders and supporting their families from that,” added Baghdassarian.

“But yesterday I smelled Aliyev’s petrodollars here. The sources of funding seem to have changed and they are funded from other places,” said Baghadassarian referring to Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev’s practice paying legislators in other countries to advance Baku’s policies.

Postanjian’s protests to Parliament Speaker Galust Sahakian to curtail such comments went unanswered and Baghdassarian proceeded to call all opposition forces “uneducated, immoral and unintelligent provocateurs.”

The latter comment is the most ironic, since the Republican Party of Armenia is not a bastion of educated individuals that are guided by intelligence or a moral compass. If that were the case then Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian would not have reappointed Surik Khachatryan—known as Liska—as the governor of Syunik last month after his role in a shooting incident that claimed the life of Goris’ mayoral candidate and wounded two other people, one of them an Army colonel.

And then there is another ruling party member Ruben Hayrapetyan, who is known as Nemetz Rubo, under whose watch an Army doctor, Vahe Avetian, was beaten to death by thugs guised as restaurant workers. And the list of “educated, moral and intelligent” people who populate the Republican Party goes on.

Of course, this is not the first time that the ruling party has resorted to chord-cutting and other tactics to stifle opposition viewpoints from being heard. It is, however, the first time that a member of Armenia’s National Assembly is being dubbed a traitor accomplishing the deeds of a country, with which Armenia, for all intents and purposes, is at war.

It is too much to expect for the leaders and members of Republican Party of Armenia to exercise civility in their every-day dealings, as you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. However, what people should demand from their legislators is to exercise decorum when running the country.

Baghdassarian’s remarks Tuesday and Sahakian’s culpability in allowing such statements in Parliament reek of Aliyev’s underhanded tactics in governing his own country. It seems the group doing the bidding for Aliyev is the ruling Republican Party of Armenia and not those with dissenting viewpoints.

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8 Comments

  1. Armanen said:

    It is good that the RPA called out Postanjian as a tool of the West and Azerbaijan. This has been quite obvious from the start to those who have a background in perceptions management, and public diplomacy.

  2. raf said:

    Shame on you Serjik and your thugs. And shame on the diaspora for leaving our poor people in Armenia alone in their fight for a real democracy. When will finally the diaspora understand that there wont be any genocide recognition as long as Armenia is weak and corrupt, as long as a bunch of uneducated thugs are ruining the country. Isn’t it time for us to seek a resolution in congress condemning this autocracy in Armenia?

  3. Alex Postallian said:

    Until Armenia gets rid of the crooks in their country,people take hold.They will never grow…

  4. armen said:

    nothing compared to dashnaktsutyun’s new low of leaving the opposition to work with the ruling regime again.

  5. Jacque said:

    hey Armen jan
    Some poeple don’t even deserve to have the word DASHNAKTSUTYUN on their lips if you get my drift.
    What Dashnaktsutyun has done for our nation and poeple is immeasurable. The people in Armenia or most of whom came from Armenia have no grasp nor understanding what homeland or nationalism is all they care about is their pockets.
    Unfortunately until all traces of communism desepears from Armenia taking wit it all the way of life that armenians are used to in Armenia , their will be no change.
    We need the new generation to change the way they approach the way of life and politics in Armenia or else nothing will change. One party will go another will come , haven’t we learned that in the last 20 years.
    We in the diaspora can’t do sh*** if the people of Armenia don’t stand for their rights and do something about it. Yes blood may be spilled but their is no freedom without sacrifice (Azadutyun gam Mah).The country is being sold one piece at a time and people are leaving one family at a time.
    Sad and shame to witness white Genocide all over again but by the hands of your own people.
    I love you ARMENIA and God be with you.

  6. Art said:

    I had very little confidence in the RPA from the start. However, the so-called Troika, which is supposedly comprised of the opposition, is purely a minion of the state. Serj bows to Putin, the Troika bows to Serj, and the defenseless, apathetic citizens of Armenia are in their own state of despondence and bewilderment. I challenge all of the diasporan Armenians who are motivated by philanthropic and altruistic causes to stop supporting fundraising activities here and abroad. It is the job of the government to ensure that all its citizens, not just the oligarchs and their cronies, live in dignity and peace. The government, i.e., the oligarchs, has enough money to support a population of just under a million. They (government) have relied too much on diasporan proceeds to build the nation.

  7. Robert Davidian said:

    Like the author of this article, we are careful to never create a false equivalency by saying “ALL government parties are corrupt”. Consistently, we see corruption evidence within the oligarchic REPUBLICAN and PROSPEROUS ARMENIA parties. We less-often see corruption within the parties of the Armenian National Congress and NEVER see corruption within Armenia’s HERITAGE party! We would love to see the Heritage party gain more seats in parliament and the criminal Republican party lose power.

    • Lus said:

      LOL, so you ‘never’ see corruption in the heritage party…? Where do they get funds from?

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