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Armenian parliamentary opposition convokes “urgent nationwide meeting”

Three opposition forces of the Armenian Parliament (Prosperous Armenia, Armenian National Congress and Heritage) are going to hold a rally at Yerevan’s Liberty Square on Feb 20, the leaders of the parties, Gagik Tsarukyan, Levon Ter-Petrosyan and Raffi Hovhannisian said after a meeting on Sunday.

In their joint statement, the leaders qualified the internal political situation in Armenia as “extraordinary” and their planned rally as “urgent.” They said that during the rally they would decide, together with the people, how to settle the current situation.

Meanwhile, Speaker of the Armenian Parliament Galust Sahakyan said that they were checking up how the MPs attended the autumn session of 2014. Even though earlier Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said that the leader of Prosperous Armenia Party Gagik Tsarukyan might be unseated, Sahakyan said that the checkups were not aimed against specific individuals. “The deputies have been asked to explain why they were absent from one or another parliamentary hearing. As soon as this process is over, we will present the results,” Sahakyan said, noting that it was not a political persecution.

Referring to own sources, Armtimes reports that Sahakyan is going to ask the Central Electoral Committee to unseat Tsarukyan. If this happens, members of Prosperous Armenia’s parliamentary group Naira Zohrabyan and Vartan Oskanian may go on a sit-down strike. The party’s political council discussed this question on Monday.

According to some mass media, the police have begun to disarm Tsarukyan’s guards: almost 200 policemen guarding Tsarukyan’s facilities have been fired. Police spokesman Ashot Aharonyan has not refuted this information but said that they in the police hold inspections on a constant basis with a view to improve their professionalism.

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