Two mass brawls broke out in the Armenian parliament on Wednesday after a member of the ruling party used the term “traitors” against former opposition defense ministers who allegedly allowed the exchange of military service exemptions for money during their tenure.
The statement was made by Haik Sarkisyan, a member of parliament for Prime Minister Nikol Pasinyan’s party Civic Contract (KP), at a parliamentary session that was broadcast live on local television channels. Subsequently, former Defense Minister Seiran Ohanian, leader of an opposition alliance Armenia Alliance (HD), threw a water bottle at Sarkisyan and a fight broke out between representatives of the KP and HD and an opposition alliance called My Honor.
Speaker of the House Alen Simonian then ordered the interruption of the live broadcast and adjourned the session. Agnesa Hamoya, a member of the HD, later streamed the meeting on her Facebook page.
Another brawl broke out between deputies during a speech by Vahe Akopyan, a member of the HD. According to a report by the Russian news agency RIA Novostyi, addressing KP representatives, Akopyan said about the ruling party:
“They cannot feed the people indefinitely with a program consisting of just beautiful words, toasts and slogans dripping from populism that gives the impression of a school paper.” One of the deputies replied to Akopyan in a harsh tone, and then a fight broke out again. The speaker in turn called for order and again interrupted the live broadcast.
Title image: Still capture from Youtube video posted by Armenian TV.