David Harutyunyan, a lawmaker from the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), today suggested that the National Assembly adopt the draft law on amending the NA Regulations in first reading.
Under the draft amendments, deputies of NA small factions can simultaneously participate in the sittings of three standing committees.
Artsvik Minasyan, an MP of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun objected saying that the amendments place an extra burden on deputies. On the other hand, he stressed that the NA Regulations foresee that deputies should participate in all sitting which is practically impossible.
ARF-D MP Armen Rustamyan said that the changes imply disparity and cannot ensure MPs' participation in sittings.
"We drive a deputy of a small faction into a deadlock. As a result, preoccupied with his work, the deputy will fail in his activities," he said.
Mr. Rustamyan suggests appointing paid assistants to those deputies so that they will be able keep track of the activities of the standing committees. Aghvan Vardanyan, another MP of the ARF-D, suggested holding the sittings at different hours for the deputies to be able to participate in all of them.
Nonpartisan MP Edmond Marukyan agreed that the amendments create unequal conditions for MPs.
"They restrict the rights of an MP," he stressed.
Ruben Hakobyan, head of the Heritage faction, was angered by David Harutyunyan's statement that it is still unknown whether the capacities of an MP from a small faction will allow him to participate in all sittings.
"If you think that the NA majority is endowed with exceptional intellect, you are deluded. You violated laws by forming the 12 committees of the National Assembly," he said addressing his words to David Harutyunyan.
The latter said in response that he would not yield to temptation and reply to MPs in the same language.
"Small factions have three experts while the parliamentary majority [with its 69 MPs] has only four experts," he said.
Turning to the MPs of the NA small factions, NA Speaker Hovik Abrahamyan said, "I find your inflamed speeches incomprehensible and irrelevant. You took seats in parliament according to your votes and you needn't demand equal conditions for all MPs. It is simply impossible. I suggest that freelance MPs be involved in the activity of committees as well. I shall see to it that the sittings do not take place at the same time. Therefore, do not try to speak to me with ultimatums; I do not accept that language."