Vardanyan Criticizes Republican Party Candidate for Beating an ARF-D Supporter

Aghvan Vardanyan

( YEREVAN— Armenian Revolutionary Federation – Dashnaktsutyun (ARF-D) Parliamentary Faction secretary Aghvan Vardanyan has sharply criticized Member of Armenia’s Parliament and Republican Party of Armenia’s (RPA) candidate for the upcoming parliamentary elections Bazmaser Arakelyan, who has been accused of beating a resident of the village of Parbi. Arakelyan reportedly beat the man after finding out that the he was planning on voting for the ARF-D in the April 2 elections.

Reports of the incident began circulating after Yerevan-based Yerkir Media’s director of news and political programming Gegham Manukyan posted about the beating on his Facebook page. The man, who was beaten after being invited to Arakelyan’s home, is currently in hospital.

Arakelyan, a former member of the Prosperous Armenia Party (PAP), is currently on the RPA ticket, and has denied the allegations.

“I am a strong man and I won’t succumb to any provocations,” Arakelyan said in an interview with Yerevan-based Hraparak, adding that he had no idea why Manukyan would make those types of allegations.

Commenting on the matter, ARF Parliamentary Faction secretary Aghvan Vardanyan said that Arakelyan was lying and that he did, in fact, beat the ARF supporter. “I read Bazmaser’s [Arakelyan’s] comments and it pains me that he is obviously lying. It is true that this fellow [Parbi] resident was called to his house and beaten,” Vardanyan told Hraparak.

When asked by Hrabarak why the man was beaten, Vardanyan explained that Arakelyan simply decided that whoever did not give him a vote automatically became an enemy. “It is with this mentality and this system that people have become candidates today,” said Vardanyan.

Vardanyan also said that he is not sure whether or not a criminal report has been filed.

“It is completely disgusting that after doing something like that, he tells you [reporters] that he is ‘a strong man.’ Strong men don’t do that,” Vardanyan said.