Members of the Assembly elected, PM of RA appointed
On January 14, the National Assembly of the 7th convocation started its work with the election of leaders of the legislative body. Nominated by the ruling “My step” faction, Ararat Mirzoyan took up the post of the chairman of the National Assembly with 131 “pros” and 1 invalid vote. The names of the two Vice-Speakers: Alen Simonyan and Lena Nazaryan, were announced the same day.
The race for the Oppositional Speaker’s post between Vahe Enfiajyan, nominated by the PAP, and Mane Tandilyan, nominated by BAP, ended with the win of the former. Vahe Enfiajyan occupied the fourth and the last position in the leadership of the legislative body with the ratio of votes 108/19.
Certainly, Vahe Enfiajyan’s candidacy wasn’t approved by public. In the Media rumours are about how numerous Facebook fake accounts were created by him and his team to form public opinion. Meanwhile, the “Bright Armenia”(Lusavor Hayastan) faction claimed that Mane Tandilyan received more votes than Vahe Enfiajyan at the same polling station, therefore the public tends to see her in that post. Nonetheless, according to the political decision of the majority of the NA, ruling party “My Step”, Vahe Enfiajyan, the representative of the second-largest political force in the NA, was elected.
On the same day, on the clause 1 of Article 149 of the Constitution, the President of RA signed a decree on Nikol Pashinyan’s appointment to the post of Prime Minister(PM).
And four days later, on January 18, names of 11 President of the standing committees of the National Assembly, elected by secret ballot were announced. As stated before, 8 out of the 11 standing committees will be chaired by representatives of “My Step” faction, 2 by “Prosperous Armenia”, 1 by “Bright Armenia”.
Charges against Seyran Ohanyan
Seyran Ohanyan who was the Minister of Defense(2008-2016), Chief of Staff of the RA Armed Forces and First Deputy Minister of Defense during the “March 1st” events of 2008, is on charges. According to the RA Prosecutor’s Office, the charge was filed under the article of “Violating the constitutional order within the framework of the “March 1st” case. However, Ohanyan refused to plead guilty. “ As I have claimed during the arraignment, and I do now, the charges are groundless, and I don’t accept them. Justice cannot be carried out by order or under the influence of street”, said Ohanyan.
Small businesses in Yerevan will benefit from local tax privileges
According to the January 15 decision of the Yerevan City Council, the economic entities, whose tax revenue for all types of activities during 2018 hasn’t surpassed 115 million dram, they will benefit from the privileges of the established local fee rates reduction in 2019. According to another statement from the municipality, the telephone hotline 1-05 will now be available, which will provide the communication with the urban authorities.
Meeting of FA Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan
On January 16, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, met in Paris with his counterpart of Azerbaijan Elmar Mamedyarov with mediation and participation of Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk group. As noted in the statement of the Ministry of FA of RA, during the meeting lasted more than four hours the interlocutors touched upon a wide array of issues, related to the peace process including the issue of preparing two nations for that process, also security and sustainable regional development. It is also noted that the two parties agreed on further consecutive and purposeful communication.
Reduction of the ministries’ number in force
On January 17, the newly appointed PM Nikol Pashinyan at the government convocation announced that only two-thirds of the government would be appointed in the initial phase to make the process of reducing the number of ministries as peaceful as possible . The appointment of other members of the government will be referred to after the amendments to the law “on the structure and activities of the government” are clarified. For now Deputy Prime Ministers Tigran Avinyan and Mher Grigoryan were reappointed to their posts.
Another notable issue discussed at the meeting was the issue of VAT exemption for imported electric vehicles-vehicles with an electric motor. The privilege of the project approved by the Executive power will be valid until 2022.
ECHR decision in favor of Armenian businessman
The European Court of Human Rights has granted businessman Samvel Mayrapetyan’s motion. Mayrapetyan asked the European Court to oblige the Armenian authorities to return his passport and allow him to leave the country immediately to receive treatment at the medical institution in Germany. The ECHR, at its discretion, requires the government of Armenia to provide immediate and timely medical aid within no more than 15 days in accordance with his current state of health and the recommendations of doctors.
Swine Flu not leave RA
Although the Ministry of Health assures that the situation caused by acute respiratory infections and flu stabilizes in Armenia, people are in panic because of the H1N1 and H3N2 subspecies of A type swine flu. As of January 18, 766 patients with acute respiratory infections have been hospitalized, and 98 ambulance calls have been registered. According to the official data of the same day, 386 children with acute respiratory complaints in schools and kindergartens were sent back home.