Yerevan Has a "Powerful Mayor-Weak City Council Model"
Though the city council has worked in Yerevan for several years, it still fails to fully balance and monitor the city mayor’s activities. The mayor keeps maintaining power in the relations with the city council. The Mayor’s actions affected the programs of the city administration and effective enactment of the decisions.

Now Yerevan is a separate community, and Yerevan City Council, the lawmaking body of the city, monitors the performance of city agencies and the mayor.

Yerevan still has to address a number of issues - efficient budget allocation and resource planning, time-worn public buses and omnibuses, lack of funds allocated to tourism development, pollution, derelict buildings, very worn-out conditions of elevators, etc.

Despite the issues, Anna Asatryan from the Republican Party Faction refused to discuss the gaps because “there are not any.” “The Republican Party cannot speak on gaps because there are any,” Asatryan said at the Media Center hosted discussion.

The Media Center held a panel discussion on the overall activities of Yerevan City Council in 2015. Anna Asatryan, Republican Party Faction, Yerevan City Council; Jivan Poghosyan, Prosperous Armenia Faction, Yerevan City Council; Anahit Bakhshyan, Barev Yerevan Faction, Yerevan City Council; Gagik Baghdasaryan, Adviser to Yerevan Mayor; and Abraham Artashesyan, Union of Financial Officers of Communities, shared thoughts on the performance of the city council last year.

Anahit Bakhshyan, who disagreed with Anna Asatryan, believes the activities of the city administration come with serious drawbacks in terms of transparency and efficiency. The Republican Party Faction has the majority in the City Council, and this makes it impossible for the implementation of the proposals and initiatives of other factions. Minutes of the City Council meetings are not available so that citizens can know what issues the meetings dealt with and how the mayor responded to the questions.

Though the City Council failed to ensure high performance last year, Mayor Taron Margaryan replied to all the questions of the City Council, said Gagik Baghdasaryan.

Yerevan has a powerful mayor-weak city council model, Abraham Artashesyan believes.

“We did not manage to have the Mayor to feel himself a member of the City Council and be accountable to that structure. We have a powerful mayor who knows how to govern the city but he does not feel he is a part of the council,” said Artashesyan.

Arshaluys Mghdesyan, Editor-Coordinator


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