Lawmakers from the two opposition factions in the Armenian parliament on Friday decided to boycott a parliament sitting in protest against a government-drafted bill that would merge many cities and villages into bigger communities.
The bill proposes amendments to the laws “On Administrative-Territorial Division of the Republic of Armenia” and “On Local Self-Government”.
Ahead of the debates, Armenia faction secretary Artsvik Minasyan stated the draft law runs counter to Armenia’s Constitution and the decision of the Constitutional Court.
He said the opposition would ask the president to challenge its legality in the top court.
The opposition MP also blamed the government for setting “wrong priorities” amid the security challenges facing the country.
“For 12 days already, we have demanded a discussion with the participation of the National Security Service director, foreign and defense ministers and other senior officials. These days we are seeing a tense border situation, not only ‘flirting’ with Erdogan, but also Aliyev’s latest statements clearly indicate that we are dealing with security issues that are a priority for our state,” the MP said.
Minasyan announced his faction’s decision not to take part in the “illegal” debates.
Secretary of the I’m Honored faction Hayk Mamijanyan also joined the Armenia faction in boycotting the debates, claiming the bill on new administrative units is “politically motivated” and is actually aimed at removing “undesirable” local government officials from office.
Afterwards, the opposition lawmakers left the parliament sessions hall.