YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–A regular session of Armenia’s parliament was disrupted on Monday after the majority of deputies representing the ruling government coalition refused to attend.
A brief statement by the Republican Party (HHK)–the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF)–and the Orinats Yerkir Party said the move is aimed at "avoiding artificial tensions." Deputy parliament speaker and ARF leader Vahan Hovannisian–stated that the coalition partners want to stave off possible clashes between their supporters and the opposition crowd.
Some leaders of the parliament’s opposition minority–which has been boycotting its sessions since February–were quick to criticize the boycott. Victor Dallakian of the Artarutyun (Justice) bloc accused the majority of "dodging responsibility" for the increasingly tense situation. But Artashes Geghamian–the leader of the National Unity Party–welcomed it–saying that the ruling coalition defied Kocharian.