Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 174

Three deputies from the Self-Determination Union, an opposition party, beat up a fourth deputy in the Armenian parliament yesterday. The victim, Aramazd Zakarian, had long been one of the SDU’s leaders, but had recently left the party in order to accept the post of deputy military commissar of Armenia. In a press interview published on the day of the incident, Zakarian, speaking in his new capacity as a government official, accused SDU leader Parvir Hayrikian of being a CIA agent.

Hayrikian is the founding father of the Armenian national movement and was jailed by the Soviet authorities. Exactly one year ago, Hayrikian and other opposition deputies were beaten up by the governing majority in the hall of parliament. That attack was ostensibly a response to the beating of the parliament’s chairman and deputy chairman by demonstrators who had stormed the parliament to protest the rigged presidential election of September 1996.

David Shahnazarian, a respected deputy and former senior government official, warned yesterday that Armenia’s deteriorating image and poor record on reforms are undermining the country’s foreign policy, particularly with regard to the Karabakh conflict. Moreover, Shahnazarian charged, official Yerevan’s orientation has turned "not [just] pro-Russian, but Russian." Shahnazarian is a co-founder turned critic of the ruling Armenian Pan-National Movement, which recently expelled him from its ranks. (Armenpress, September 18)

Azerbaijan Rejects Russian Alliance.