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LIVE: Parliament session kicks off: Lawmakers expected to deliberately fail election of PM to steer towards dissolution
/Oct 24/ArmenPress.am/

YEREVAN – The parliament session has kicked off with the election of a prime minister on the agenda.

The sole candidate is incumbent acting PM Nikol Pashinyan.

A number of other bills are also on the agenda.

Pashinyan tendered a technical resignation October 16 in order to trigger the process of disbanding the parliament and holding early elections.

Under the law, if a prime minister resigns lawmakers must elect a new PM within two weeks. If MPs fail to elect a PM during the first vote, a second round takes place a week later.

Prior to the vote, parliamentary factions must nominate candidates for the election. All factions agreed that they wouldn’t nominate anyone in order to pave way for dissolution. But the Yelk faction nominated incumbent Nikol Pashinyan in a technical maneuver because the Constitution says that a “vote” must take place. Lawmakers are expected to deliberately vote down Pashinyan in order to fail the election and head for eventual dissolution, and early elections.

Pashinyan took office after massive protests in April forced president-turned PM Serzh Sargsyan to resign. But Sargsyan’s Republican Party (HHK) still has most seats in parliament. Since taking office, PM Nikol Pashinyan has numerously said that the incumbent parliament doesn’t represent the people and that early elections should take place as soon as possible.

Below is an excerpt from Article 149 of the Constitution of Armenia on Election and Appointment of the Prime Minister:

“In case the Prime Minister submits a resignation or in other cases of the office of the Prime Minister becoming vacant, the factions of the National Assembly shall be entitled to nominate candidates for Prime Minister within a period of seven days after accepting the resignation of the Government. The National Assembly shall elect the Prime Minister by majority of votes of the total number of Deputies [Members of Parliament].
In case Prime Minister is not elected, a new election of Prime Minister shall be held seven days after voting, wherein the candidates for Prime Minister nominated by at least one third of the total number of Deputies shall be entitled to participate. In case Prime Minister is not elected by majority of votes of the total number of Deputies, the National Assembly shall be dissolved by virtue of law”.
 

«Բերքահավաք» է. վարչապետին կներկայացվի 1 միլիոն դոլարի հետբերումների տեղեկանքները
/Oct 25/Verelq.am/

Երկուշաբթի օրը Պետական վերահսկողության ծառայության ղեկավար Դավիթ Սանասարյանը վարչապետին կներկայացնի 1 միլիոն դոլարին համարժեք դրամի հետբերումների տեղեկանքները:

««Բերքահավաք» է տեղի ունենում: Մեր արած աշխատանքի արդյունքներն արդեն շոշափելի են և այս տարվա վերջին արդեն մենք կբերենք մի քանի անգամ ավել միլիոն դոլարի մուտքեր»,- այսօր լրագրողների հետ զրույցում ասաց նա:

Սանասարյանն ընդգծեց, որ ստուգումներ են կատարվում նաեւ բարձրագույն ուսումնական հաստատություններում: «Վերջացրել ենք Ագրարային համալսարանի ստուգումները: Նախկին ռեկտորը համաձայնվել է 350 մլն դրամի հետբերում անել պետբյուջե: Հիմա իրավապահների հետ հասկանում ենք դրանց ճանապարհը: ԵՊՀ-ի ստուգումներն առաջիկայում կվերջացնենք:

Լուրջ խախտումներ կան ԵՊՀ-ում ևս: Գումարի մասով վերջնական չափ չեմ կարող ասել, բայց նախանական տվյալներով երկու կամ ավելի անգամ գերազանցելու է Ագրարայինին
 

Newspaper: Bolton turns down Armenia Security Council chief’s dinner invitation
/Oct 26/News.am/

YEREVAN. – It seemed that, first and foremost, US National Security Adviser John Bolton should have been the “guest” of the Security Council (SC) of Armenia and its secretary, Armen Grigoryan, but the American side’s reservations regarding Grigoryan were manifested during this visit too, according to Hraparak (Square) newspaper.

“Bolton visited the SC in the morning [on Thursday], but a tête-à-tête meeting did not take place with the SC secretary.

“And at the end of the day, when Grigoryan tried to invite him to dinner, he was turned down.

“The US president’s adviser has left the country [Armenia] right after the [press] conference,” Hraparak wrote.
 

Jailed Armenian General Offers Land to State
/Oct 10/RFE/RL Armenian Report/By Naira Bulghadarian/

Manvel Grigorian, a retired Armenian army general arrested in June on corruption charges, has offered to donate vast land holdings to the state, it emerged on Friday.

Grigorian’s lawyer, Levon Baghdasarian, said the 330-hectare plot owned by him is part of a beaver fur farm located in a village about 40 kilometers west of Yerevan.

“Real estate experts estimate its minimum market value at about $10 million,” Baghdasarian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).

Baghdasarian claimed that the offer extended to the Armenian government is a gesture of good which is not aimed at pleasing the public or ensuring his lenient treatment by the authorities. He argued that his client continues to deny the grave accusations levelled against him.

Grigorian was arrested when security forces raided his properties in and around the town of Echmiadzin on June 16. They found many weapons, ammunition, medication and field rations for soldiers provided by the Armenian Defense Ministry.

They also discovered canned food and several vehicles donated by Armenians at one of Grigorian’s mansions. A widely publicized official video of the raids caused shock and indignation in the country.

The Armenian parliament, of which Grigorian is a member, was quick to allow investigators to keep him under arrest him on charges of illegal arms possession and embezzlement. The once powerful general denies the accusations.

Grigorian’s lawyers have repeatedly demanded his release from pre-trial custody, saying that the 61-year-old is suffering from a number of serious illnesses. Armenian law-enforcement bodies and courts have ignored those demands so far. It remains unclear when he will go on trial.

Grigorian served as Armenia’s deputy defense minister from 2000-2008. Until his arrest he was also the chairman of the Yerkrapah Union of Karabakh war veterans, an organization which was particularly influential in the 1990s and the early 2000s. He was reelected to the parliament last year on the ticket of then President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party.
 

Trump wants to abolish birthright citizenship
/Oct 30/168.am/

US President Donald Trump told Axios he is planning to terminate birthright citizenship, potentially setting up another constitutional standoff, CNBC reports.

Trump said Monday he will sign an executive order that would remove the right to citizenship for babies of noncitizens and unauthorized immigrants born on U.S. soil.

“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” Trump said in the interview by Axios on HBO, the news site’s new documentary series.

“We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States … with all of those benefits,” Trump said. “It’s ridiculous. It’s ridiculous. And it has to end.”

“It’s in the process. It’ll happen … with an executive order.”

However, Canada and many other countries grant birthright citizenship.

Opponents will argue that it’s not within the president’s power to change birthright citizenship.

The 14th Amendment to the Constitution says:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”

Trump’s comments come as he continues to push a hard-anti-immigration line ahead of next week’s midterm elections. On Monday, the Defense Department announced plans to deploy 5,200 active duty troops to the U.S.-Mexico border by end of the week as a migrant caravan made its way north from Central America.

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