Respublica Armenii Staff Boycott Over

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The staff of the "Respublica Armenii" daily newspaper has ended its boycott and resumed work. The decision came as a result of negotiations with current editor-in-chief Shamiram Aghabekian who was appointed by Parliament Speaker Khosrov Harutiunian against the will of the staff. "Staying in the newspaper–we will better be able to stand up for our rights," was the position held by the majority of the staff at a news conference held Monday.

It was reported that a decision was made to review the newspaper’s statute which must clearly outline the functions and powers of founders–as well as real mechanisms of work for the editorial board.

Among the five staff members who submitted their resignations were acting editor-in-chief Ashot Gazazian who said he cannot work with people who did not want to win a serious stand-off.

The newspaper’s editorial board noted that "a week-long stand-off proved that the time when the opinion of the staff may be ignored has changed–if not passed. Now it is known at all levels that when taking such steps one should be ready for counteraction. And the support on the part of journalists testifies to the revival of corporate solidarity of journalists."

Aghabekian–as well as Azg daily newspaper editor-in-chief Hakob Avetisian are Ramkavar Party of Armenia members. And–Harutyun Karapetian–Ramkavar Party of Armenia Chairman–who was recently appointed presidential advisor–heads the Department of Information and Publications of Armenia. Karapetian and Avetisian are among the five people empowered by the state to represent its interests through the state-run Armenpress news agency.

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