Armenian parliamentary majority votes against setting up commission to investigate March 1-2 clashes in 2008

Armenian parliamentary majority votes against setting up commission to investigate March 1-2 clashes in 2008

YEREVAN, March 10. / ARKA /. The ruling majority in the National Assembly of Armenia voted today against setting up an ad hoc commission to investigate the March 1-2, 2008 street clashes between security forces and opposition protests in the capital Yerevan, which left ten people dead.

Forty-six deputies backed the creation of the commission, one MP abstained from voting, while 66 lawmakers from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia and its junior coalition partner Orinats Yerkir (Country of Law) voted against.  

Before the voting the head of the opposition Armenian National Congress (ANC) parliamentary faction, Levon Zurabyan, said that «all those who would vote against the bill would take responsibility for the blood that was shed in those days.”

Gagik Jahangirian, another MP from the Armenian Naional Congress, said the police and other law-enforcement authorities have still not identified any individuals directly responsible for the deaths of eight opposition protesters and two security personnel.

In response, the head of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia faction Galust  Sahakyan described the proposal as a "political show." He argued that after studying the work of the previous commission set up in 2008 to investigate the deadly post-election violence in Yerevan, the faction considers it inappropriate to create a new ad hoc commission.

Such a commission was to be created in May 2013. However, the ruling party toughened its position at the last minute, saying that the commission must not be empowered to question senior law-enforcement officials involved in the official criminal investigation into the deadly unrest.  That condition was rejected by the opposition Armenian National Movement. .-0-

14:14 10.03.2014

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