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Prosperous Armenia and Bright Armenia MPs to Boycott Vote on Gagik Tsarukyan

Only Im Kayl (My Step) MPs will participate in today’s parliamentary vote on stripping Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) leader Gagik Tsarukyan of his immunity, thus paving the way for his arrest on a number of charges including illegal business activity and vote buying.

The BHK and the Bright Armenia (LH) factions have said they will abstain from voting.

Im Kayl holds a majority in the National Assembly with 88 seats. The BHK and LH have 25 and 17 deputies respectively.

LH faction leader Edmon Marukyan criticized Pashinyan’s government for playing politics in its dealings with Tsarukyan and the BHK.

“When you needed the BHK, it was a good force and Gagik Tsarukyan was a large businessman. You could go to his house and party. Isn’t there a selection application of the law at work here?” Marukyan asked, added that some months back Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan declared that the country had been cleansed of oligarchs.

Marukyan asked why the government, all of a sudden, is portraying Tsarukyan as an illegal oligarch.

BHK MP Naira Zohrabyan, speaking on behalf of the party, said that the campaign against Tsarukyan started after he criticized the government for mishandling the pandemic and the economy.

Zohrabyan said the Prosecutor General has failed to amass any evidence against Tsarukyan and that the entire matter is a political vendetta.

She said that BHK deputies would boycott the vote.

Taking a swipe at Tsarukyan, Parliament Speaker Ararat Mirzoyan said it is convenient for someone to call for the resignation of the government, to claim political persecution, when they know that legal processes launched much earlier might prove their own culpability.

Mirzoyan, while admitting that Tsarukyan has invested much in the economy and has created jobs, said that all were equal before the law.

“We hold out hope that the examination concludes that Gagik Tsarukyan is found innocent of the charges. In that case, we will welcome him back to the parliament. But if the opposite happens, then all citizens must bear responsibility as defined by the law. This is our political creed,” Mirzoyan said.

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Read original article here.

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