Homeland Salvation Movement’s candidate for prime minister, Vazgen Manukyan, who was charged on Thursday with allegedly breaching Armenia’s constitutional order, rejected those charges saying they are politically motivated.
Manukyan was summoned to appear on Thursday at Armenia’s Investigative Services headquartered, where he was officially charged with violating article 301 of Armenia’s Criminal Code—breaching the country constitutional order. The Investigative committee cited remarks made by Manukyan on February 12 and 20, when allegedly he incited a violent overthrow of the government.
As an example the investigative committee cited remarks made by Manukyan on February 20 during a rally, where he said: “At any moment — it could be today, one week later or ten days later — we must be ready for revolting and taking power at lightning speed.”
Manukyan was released on his own recognizance and signed a document pledging to leave the country while the criminal proceedings continued.
“This is real political persecution. There is no other way I can describe it,” Manukyan told reporters on Thursday before enter the National Investigative Services headquarters.
“During the past two and a half years in our country, the constitution and laws have been violated at least once every month by the leadership of the country no less,” Manukyan told reporters adding that the constitution has been violated on numerous occasions after the war.
“After the humiliating defeat, now, that it is not a military situation, the prime minister continues to surrender lands in Syunik. This is a major breach of the Constitution and its criminal, and criminal charges must be filed against him,” explained Manukyan.
He said that if he is remanded into custody, the movement will continue, saying that theirs is a popular movement.
“If they remand me, there are thousands of people who will continue the movement. This is not a whimsical effort. This is popular demand and the only salvation,” added Manukyan saying he would not respond to any question and will not be giving a deposition.
Manukyan’s attorney, Aram Vartevanyan, said that this was a “ordered” by the authorities, adding that it was absurd to bring criminal charges against political speech, reported Azatutyun.am.