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September 16
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YEREVAN. – Past daily of the Republic of Armenia (RA) writes: Yesterday the CEC [(Central Electoral Commission)] drew up a record on registering the MPs of the [new] National Assembly [(NA)] and allocating [their parliamentary] mandates. It was also announced that the first session of the newly elected National Assembly will be convened on August 2, 2021, at 10:00.

It is noteworthy that two people who became MPs from the [electoral] list of the [opposition] "Armenia" bloc are currently under arrest. We are talking about the former mayor of Meghri [city], Mkhitar Zakaryan, and the mayor of Sisian [city], Artur Sargsyan. By receiving a parliamentary mandate, they actually gain parliamentary immunity.

In that case, what legal process should follow after the CEC decision on registering the MPs of the National Assembly and allocating mandates? In a conversation with Past, lawyer, NA [new] MP Aram Vardevanyan [from the “Armenia” bloc] notes that the mentioned persons should be released immediately, the pretrial measure [of theirs] should be lifted, and the prosecutor's office should be its initiator.

Also, Vardevanyan added that later the prosecutor's office can petition to the National Assembly on the matter of depriving the mentioned persons of their liberty, but in terms of current [criminal] cases, there are no legal procedures for the matter of continuing the criminal prosecution, therefore, criminal cases are subject to being dropped in all such situations.

By the way, let us add that if the leader of the "Armenia" bloc, RA second President Robert Kocharyan had taken the [parliamentary] mandate, he also would have had [parliamentary] immunity, and the criminal prosecution [against him] would have automatically been dropped. However, as it is known, Kocharyan decided not to take the parliamentary mandate.

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