By Karine Simonian
VANADZOR, Armenia (RFE/RL) — Opposition groups in Vanadzor on Monday, April 4, accused Armenia’s leadership of seeking to nullify their victory in last December’s municipal election through what they see as an unconstitutional bill.
The city has had no mayor since Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s Civil Contract party was defeated in the election.
Civil Contract won only 25 percent of the vote there, compared to 39 percent polled by an opposition bloc led by former Vanadzor Mayor Mamikon Aslanyan. The bloc teamed up with the opposition Fatherland party, giving them a majority of seats in the local council empowered to elect the head of the community.
Aslanyan thus looked set to regain his post lost in October. But ten days after the ballot, he was arrested on corruption charges rejected by him as politically motivated.
Later in December, Armenia’s Administrative Court banned the new Vanadzor council from holding any sessions until July this year. It cited an appeal against the election results lodged by another pro-government party.