A brawl between MPs at the Armenian National Assembly
Members of the National Assembly have exchanged blows following debates in the session hall today. Artashes Geghamyan, an MP from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) and Nikol Pashinyan, the head of the Yelk (‘The Way Out’) opposition party were involved in the incident. At first Nikol Pashinyan refused to comment on the incident, saying just that ‘Artashes Geghamyan is Artashes Geghamyan’.
Later on, he made the following Facebook post: ‘Artashes Geghamyan set upon me with blows [physically attacked me] in the National Assembly corridor. I managed to defend myself and even kicked him several times. I would like to apologize to the public that I have to work in such conditions.’
Meanwhile, Geghamyan denied the allegations. In his words, if that had been true ‘Pashinyan would have been taken to hospital’ as he did boxing for three years. However, the opposition MP still insisted that he had been attacked in the corridor: “Artashes Geghamyan layed into me in the National Assembly corridor like a hooligan. Interestingly, he now denies everything. I would like to say there were some witnesses there. We demand explanations from the ruling Republican Party.”
The Republican Party members noted that this was a matter of concern to them and promised to address it. Gagik Melikyan, the RPA Secretary, stated that such things happened in parliaments around the world and no one was immune from such cases. On a side note, there are no surveillance cameras in that part of the parliament building, where, according to the MP, the fist fight took place. Later on, Geghamyan admitted that the brawl had taken place. He, however, noted that he did not attack the MP, but rather ‘tried to reach out’ to the MP.
In his words, he was trying to express his disagreement over issues which had been discussed in Parliament at the time. Armenian lawmakers have recently discussed Pashinyan’s faction’s proposal to set up an interim commission which would be tasked with finding out how beneficial the integration into the Eurasian Economic Union has been for Armenia and whether there is a need for withdrawing from the organization.