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Village In Turmoil: Political Tensions Continue In Proshyan After Ma

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  • Village In Turmoil: Political Tensions Continue In Proshyan After Ma

    POLITICS | 18.06.13 | 11:01

    ArmeniaNow reporter

    Tensions in the village of Proshyan that began after the assassination
    of its mayor in April continue in the run-up to the election of the
    new community leader scheduled for next month.

    Armenuhi Melikyan, a trained nurse who acted briefly as mayor of the
    village, has been forced to resign. She claims to have been threatened
    with violence.

    The need for a new mayor in Proshyan, a village with a population
    of 4,600 in the Kotayk province situated just six kilometers
    from capital Yerevan, arose after the April 2 assassination of its
    50-year-old head Hrach Muradyan, a member of the opposition Armenian
    Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun). He was shot in the head in
    the backyard of the village administration building. Arayik Petrosyan,
    a 31-year-old resident of Proshyan, was arrested for the murder, but
    he does not admit to committing the crime. The family and relatives
    of the assassinated village mayor have said on various occasions that
    they do not think Petrosyan was the one who murdered Muradyan.

    By the June 7 decision of Kotayk governor Kovalenko Shahgaldyan,
    Melikyan, who is a former member of the Proshyan Council of Elders and
    is not affiliated with any political party, was appointed acting mayor
    until the July 14 by-elections to be held in the village. But village
    administration workers did not allow the woman even to enter her
    office. They insist that Melikyan is an 'intriguer and troublemaker'
    and does not deserve to be in office even for a few hours.

    Melikyan, however, thinks that the village officials opposed the
    decision on her temporary appointment because she is not a member of
    Dashnaktsutyun and in the new mayoral elections could obstruct the
    plans of current deputy mayor Vova Sahakyan, who has decided to run for
    village mayor and enjoys the support of the slain official's family.

    Considering the situation in the village in which she claimed to
    suffer intolerable attitude from a group of residents and fears for
    her safety, the acting mayor asked the governor to relieve her of
    the duties. In a statement, Melikyan also said: "At the same time,
    I condemn the inaction of the governor's office and the police that
    have failed to defend the law and fulfill their duties."

    Nominations of candidates in the village of Proshyan will start on June
    19 and will last for five days. Now only the deputy mayor, Sahakyan,
    has expressed his desire to run for mayor. He has denied making any
    threats against Melikyan.

    "This is an absolute lie, an option for her to get out of this
    situation," said Sahakyan in an interview with RFE/RL's Armenian
    Service. He said the main problem was the character of Melikyan rather
    than any political context or actions against Kotayk's governor,
    who is a member of the ruling Republican Party.

    Meanwhile, Governor Shahgeldyan has already appointed a new acting
    mayor for Proshyan. It is his assistant Vrezh Mnatsakanyan.

    Mnatsakanyan is non-partisan and is not a native or resident of

    By-elections are also scheduled to be held in the village of Surenavan
    in the Ararat province (June 23) and in the Hovit community of the
    Shirak province (July 14). The mayor of Surenavan died in a car
    accident and the mayor of Hovit died suddenly of natural causes.