New Parliament Chamber Opens After Major Renovation


YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenia’s National Assembly chamber has reopened for sessions on Friday after a massive renovation that has changed it beyond recognition.

The hall was closed for work in May and has since undergone a major transformation that cost the Armenian taxpayer more than $1.3 million.

The former rectangular hall acquired an oval shape after reconstruction and now, along with an impressive look, also provides a much more convenient and practical environment for legislative work, including computers, monitors and microphones installed at every lawmaker’s desk.

The opening ceremony on Friday was attended by President Serzh Sarkisian and Catholicos Karekin II, the supreme head of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

In his welcoming remarks, Parliament Speaker Hovik Abrahamian compared the new chamber to the legendary Round Table in Camelot, the fictional capital of King Arthur’s realm, arguing that it provides “a more democratic atmosphere for debate.”

“A round table has long been regarded as a symbol of cooperation and focused discussions… Those sitting around such a table are equal in their rights and responsibility for decisions,” the parliament speaker said.

In his speech, President Sarkisian reaffirmed Armenia’s commitment to move along the democratic path of development.

“Every parliament ought to represent the will of the people, all strata of voters, their interests, hopes and aspirations. By embarking on the path of democracy for the organization of our public and political life, we also made a decision to move forward in accordance with the relevant criteria,” said Sarkisian. “I think this well-considered choice of the people of Armenia is very important. We have done a lot on this way, but we still need to do more.”

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4 Comments

  1. Arto said:

    That’s great, now all they have to do is change most of the people that are in it.

  2. Ed said:

    Round table? What about a public gallery? Just words, empty words by people who have become experts at hiding their real thoughts behind lofty words… No wonder they try to involve the Church as much as they can – unfortunately this is not good for the Church to be associated with this regime…

  3. Sevag said:

    A remodeled Armenian National Assembly with modern amenities is definitely needed. But sorry to say this remodel design is something I would expect from a banquet hall in Burbank, California. Aside from the tricolor flag and a few patterns in the molding, nothing about this room reflects the Armenian culture. When will Armenians learn to look to their own rich history of iconographic designs for inspiration and not to the casinos of Las Vegas.

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