All Round View (Peshawar): The National Assembly denied the opposition proposal to lift martial law which was declared in Armenia following the flare-up of the Nagorno-Karabakh War on September 27.
Martial law allowed the Armenian government to call a nationwide marshalling of army reservists and restrict some civil freedom, including the freedom of assembly and speech.
The two opposition parties represented in the Armenian parliament say these restrictions are no longer obligatory after a Russian-brokered truce that stopped the bloody war on November 10.
“These restrictions apply to the foundations of democracy. They are also having negative economic outcomes,” said Gevorg Gorgisian of the Bright Armenia Party (LHK).
The Armenian government and the parliament’s pro-government majority spoke out against a relevant opposition bill presented by Gorgisian. They said that martial law is still needed for the ongoing reassignment of Armenian Army units along Armenia’s border with four districts west of Karabakh handed over to Azerbaijan as a result of the war and the truce agreement.
“We are talking about the country’s security and protection of its borders. The introduction and lifting of martial law cannot be an end in itself,” said Aren Mkrtchian of the ruling My Step bloc. The session was broadcast by local TV channels.
“Thirty-six parliamentarians voted for the lifting of the martial law, while 56 voted against. The motion is not passed,” Vice Speaker Alen Simonyan announced.
The factions of the opposition Prosperous Armenia and Bright Armenia parties initiated a discussion in the parliament since they believe martial law in the country is used by the government to prevent rallies urging the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
The Armenian Defense Ministry maintains that after the joint statement from the Russian, Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders on cessation of hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia, and Azerbaijan have got new borders and martial law must be extended to protect them.
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