YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — After a daylong stalemate, the Armenian parliament voted on Friday, August 6, to appoint a leading member of the main opposition Hayastan bloc, Ishkhan Saghatelyan, as one of its three deputy speakers.
Armenia’s constitution reserves the position for a representative of the 107-seat parliament’s opposition minority.
Saghatelyan was nominated for it by Hayastan and backed by the Pativ Unem (I Have Honor) bloc, the other opposition force represented in the recently elected National Assembly.
The outspoken opposition leader on Thursday twice failed to get at least 54 votes needed for his election in secret ballots held during a heated parliament debate on his candidacy. The parliament’s pro-government speaker, Alen Simonyan, spoke of a “parliamentary crisis” after the second vote.
Opposition lawmakers accused the parliamentary majority representing Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s Civil Contract party of torpedoing Saghatelyan’s appointment.
“If somebody from the ruling faction thinks that by constantly not electing me they can force us to haggle or strike any deals I must say that this is not going to happen,” Saghatelyan said on Thursday.