Armenian parliament postpones vote on controversial property bill

Armenia Materials 14 November 2006 12:39 (UTC +04:00)

(armenialiberty.org) - The parliament has postponed the vote on a controversial government bill regulating the alienation of property for state and public needs', as about a hundred protestors waited for more than five hours for the vote outcome outside the parliament building, reports Trend.

No matter whether they adopt it or not, on Thursday we will gather in front of the government building. This government hasn't done anything for us. Let it resign, Vachagan Hakobian, chairman of the organization in defense of property rights, told RFE/RL, as calls for civil disobedience were heard among the crowd.

Deputies seem afraid of people and enter the parliament from the backdoor, another protestor complained.

Several deputies tried to make their way to the parliament though the crowd and police had to intervene to prevent what appeared to be hostage-taking attempts.

We didn't elect these deputies, one angry woman said.

MP Hermine Naghdalian, of the Republican Party, who had to elbow her way' through the crowd, said the public demonstration of protest would not impact her vote in parliament.

This is a vote on which our party has a decision and this decision is biding for me, she explained.

Chairman of the Victims of State Needs organization Sedrak Baghdasarian accused the government and the president of ignoring the Constitutional Court's ruling recognizing the previous decisions as unconstitutional and continuing to push for what he described as a similarly unconstitutional piece of legislation.

The minister of justice does not want to administer justice, but by this law defends the interests of some organization, Baghdasarian charged.

Responding to these accusations, Minister of Justice David Harutiunian said: The main goal of the law is to protect citizens. All those decisions fit the legislative framework.

Prime Minister Andranik Markarian brushed aside the protestors' calls for the government's resignation and said that protestors have no constitutional right to make those claims.

The vote on the bill is likely to take place in parliament on Tuesday.