YEREVAN, February 7. /ARKA/. Schools should be in no way involved in election process, Armenian premier Tigran Sargsyan said at a government meeting Thursday.
The day before a parliament deputy from opposition “Heritage” party Ruben Hakpobyan raised concerns in the parliament over the situation in schools where teachers interfere with the election process. In response, the premier instructed minister of education and science Armen Ashotyan to follow up the matter.
“Schools should bear no relationship to the upcoming elections. Head of educational institutions will be severely punished for any violation, we do not need disservices”, the premier said.
Minister of education Ashotyan, in his turn, said that the ministry has currently two objectives – to ensure that no political process is going on in schools and that daily life is not disturbed there.
So far only two cases of violations have been reported – from Agarak village and Masis town, the minister said. Head of Agarak school caught in involvement in election campaign was severely reprimanded, he said.
The minister also pointed out that the Central electoral commission website points to some school halls where election campaign meetings are allowed. Yet, the minister said, these meetings should in no way disturb educational process.
Ashotyan urged journalists to report any violations observed.
Armenian presidential elections will be held in Armenia on February 18. Eight nominees are running for president: current president Serzh Sargsyan, former prime minister and leader of Freedom party Hrant Bagratyan, former foreign minister and head of Heritage party Raffi Hovhannisyan, famous Soviet dissident and leader of National Self-Determination party Paruyr Hayrikyan, ex foreign minister of Karabakh Arman Melikyan, political scientist and head of Radio Hay Andrias Ghukasyan, philologist Vardan Sedrakyan and leader of National Consent party Aram Harutinyan. -0-