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    Armenian diaspora wants to be represented in Armenian government - COMMENT

    This can be considered as specific political bargaining between government and diaspora

    Baku. 28 October. REPORT.AZ/ The US citizen with Armenian origin Vahagn Hovnanyan’s son-in-law reserve colonel of Armenian army Arthur Aleksanyan-Amarasi has founded a new movement.

    Report informs referring to the Armenian media, new movement is named “United Armenia”.

    “We launched the movement to establish upper house of parliament and to enable Armenian diaspora to be represented there”, told billionaire’s relative.

    According to information, the movement declared that they will run for parliament in April, 2017.

    Armenian diaspora sends message to government that “we are here and want to participate in government”. That’s why the organization was created by American billionaire. Thus they claim for more active role in political and social processes in Armenia. Movement targets to change Armenian constitution. Leader of the movement Aleksanyan said: “Constitution may change 10 times if needed. Diaspora members should be legally represented in government of the country. At present diaspora stays aside of processes in the country. We think that Armenia is also country of Armenian diaspora”.

    Notably, Vahagn Hovnanyan was born in 1932 in Kirkuk region of Iraq. He together with his brothers founded “Hovnanian Brothers Corporation” construction company in 1959 and became vice-president of the company. He died in August, 2015.

    Supposedly billionaire’s family push their relative forward with big ambitions. They want him to become parliamentarian. This can be considered as specific political bargaining between government and diaspora.

    Relations between President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and diaspora members are not good. One is true, he underlined diaspora as one of factors of existence of the state in his recent speech. However, incidents during Sargsyan’s visit to Netherlands showed that relations between president and diaspora are not in order. In summer the group of protesters occupied polis department in Armenia. Government chose bloody way and used force to clear building from protesters. Diaspora members in Netherland were among first to raise protest against actions of Sargsyan regime. Diaspora also was dissatisfied with government during protests against rise of prices for electric power.

    S.Sargsyan hided from representatives of diaspora who wanted to meet him. That was second such case in this month. Members of diaspora gathered to protest Sargsyan in front of building in New York where he had appointment. Security guards had to lead him out from backdoor.

    According to information, president is losing one of his supports. Now he relies more on Moscow. “EDB Integration Barometer” annual report by Eurasia Development Bank (EDB) Center for Integration Studies states that number of people considering Russia as friend in Armenia fell to 69 percent. This is lower than before for 17 percent. Support rate to Russia in Armenia was about 86 percent in 2015 and 87 percent in 2014. According to document, significant rise in prices for electric power supplied by Russian companies played crucial role in this issue. 

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