May 20
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YEREVAN. – Zhoghovurd newspaper of the Republic of Armenia (RA) writes: The authorities, fearing to fail the election of the [country’s new] Human Rights Defender [(HRD)] [in the National Assembly (NA)]], have decided to organize the discussion of this matter at the bottom of the list of voting on persons. In particular, yesterday the NA Council approved the agenda of the session starting on January 17, which includes 24 matters, and the election of the [new] HRD will be the last matter.

Zhoghovurd daily had written in its yesterday's issue that, according to the Law "Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly," all voting on persons, including the RA Human Rights Defender, is elected by closed-secret ballot, with at least three-fifths of the total number of votes of the MPs. In the parliament with 107 MPs, that number is 64, and the number of the [ruling majority] CC [“Civil Contract” Faction] MPs—71.

Of course, at first glance, the impression is that the CC has no problem at all to worry about—but that only at first glance. The thing is that on January 15-20 the NA delegation—which includes 3 people from the CC faction: NA President Alen Simonyan, Hayk Konjoryan, Maria Karapetyan—will leave for the USA. It is not ruled out that they will not even make it to the election of the [new] Human Rights Defender. And if there are other absences in those days, the CC will really face a problem. And the failure of the voting on the [new] HRD is the most undesirable scenario for the ruling power.

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