Parliament votes down March 1 committee creation initiative

Parliament votes down March 1 committee creation initiative

PanARMENIAN.Net - The National Assembly voted 66-46 (1 abstention) against the initiative to set up an ad hoc committee for investigation of the March 1, 2008 events, Armenian media reported.

The bill was initiated in by the Armenian National Congress (ANC) parliamentary group.

Ahead of the vote, the Prosperous Armenia MP Naira Zohrabyan urged those “who have nothing to be afraid of” to support the bill.

The head of the Republican Party of Armenia parliamentary group Galust Sahakyan spoke of the party’s serious attitude towards the issue. However, he urged against "staging shows" in the parliament. According to Sahakyan, having discussed the activities of the previous committees, RPA advised against forming a new one.

ANC MP, Gagik Jangiryan, in turn, called the parliament to use its functions to investigate the tragic events, since "the law enforcement bodies are reluctant to search for the perpetrators and no substantial proposals were advanced by the RPA."

As the head of the ANC parliamentary group Levon Zurabyan stated further, reference to the previous committees is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

"The new committee would be charged with the investigation of the law enforcement agencies' activities to discover whether their actions hindered the probe of the March 1 events," he said. "By voting against the initiative, the RPA took the blame for preventing the probe and the lives lost on March 1, 2008," he stressed.

From February 20, 2008, the Armenian opposition led by first president Levon Ter-Petrossian, who ran for presidency in 2008, but was not elected, held rallies in the central part of Yerevan, protesting against the election results.

The protest actions resulted in unrest and clashes between the police and rally participants on March 1-2. According to the Office of RA Prosecutor General, around 200 people were injured, 10 people were killed, and over 100 people were arrested.

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