Discussion: How to Rule out the Escalation in Yerevan?
The protesters must begin negotiations with the Government, and talks will rule out the crisis, said Hovhannes Sahakyan, Chairman of the NA Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs, Republican MP

The lawmaker believes no force will be used against protesters even if they refuse to negotiate and continue their protest. “No force will be used. The law on public assembly, however, fixes where and how to hold rallies, as well as the actions the police must take to ensure the public order and safety of the young people gathered there. The protest is not spontaneous anymore and there may be 222. It is crucial to be cautious now,” Sahakyan said.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, 5:30 a.m., the demonstration against the recent electricity price hike was dispersed with blasts of water and use of force by the riot police. 237 protesters were dragged away by the police. Journalists and bloggers reported that they, too, had endured rough treatment by uniformed and plainclothes officers.

The Government has decided to allocate a monthly support of 2000 drams to vulnerable families.

Tevan Poghosyan from the Heritage Faction believes it is for President Sargsyan to make that “important political decision” and solve the issue. “The authorities propose to meet and talk but why? Why should they start talks? The claim is to cancel the decision of the Public Services Regulatory Commission and only President Sargsyan can make the final decision because the claim is filed to him,” the lawmaker said.

The Government's decision to provide subsidies for low-income families solves the problem only partly, Poghosyan believes, and the protesters rejected it.

“I cannot understand why the young protesters should have filed their claims to the President and then refused to meet him after they had received an invitation. Perhaps they would not be satisfied with the reply but it is necessary to listen to one another,” said Sahakyan.

Tevan Poghosyan believes whatever reasons the young have not to meet Sargsyan, the President may himself come down to Bagharamyan Avenue and meet protesters. “The committee members may also come and work with people. When we say negotiations we mean the price and value will be discussed as well,” he said.

It is necessary to avoid any escalation and refrain from provocations in the future, the speakers believe. They propose to challenge the decision of Public Services Regulatory Commission at the court, which is impossible, because it must be done within 10 days after the decision was issued, or to find the necessary funds for subsidies, and conduct an audit of ENA.

Arshaluis Mghdesyan, Editor-Coordinator


Please contact the author at arshaluismghdesyan@pjc.am.

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