Opposition Party Seeks Parliamentary Probe Of Karabakh War

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Armenia — Deputies from the opposition Bright Armenia Party attend a parliament session, Yerevan, May 26, 2020.

“Ever since the war ended with the November 9 ceasefire the most important questions preoccupying the Armenian people have been: why did diplomacy fail to prevent the war, why did the war break out … and why did we lose?” LHK leader Edmon Marukian said on Friday.

Marukian’s party wants these questions to be answered by a “fact-finding group” that would mostly consist of deputies from the three political groups represented in the Armenian parliament: the ruling My Step bloc, the LHK and the opposition Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). Each of them would appoint four members of the group.

Three other members would be named by other forces which finished fourth, fifth and sixth in the 2018 parliamentary elections and failed to win any seats in the National Assembly. They include the former ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun).

“The group must work and draw up conclusions regarding the pre-war period and the war,” said Marukian. “The parents of our heroes, our soldiers and everyone must know what happened … Until we answer these questions we cannot carry on with our lives and build a strong Armenia.”

My Step, which is headed by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, and the BHK said they will discuss the LHK proposal and respond to it.

The BHK, Dashnaktsutyun and the HHK are part of a coalition of more than a dozen opposition parties that has been holding anti-government protests in a bid to force Pashinian to resign over his handling of the war. Although Marukian’s LHK is not involved in the protests it too has blamed Pashinian’s administration for the Armenian side’s defeat in the six-week war.

The prime minister has repeatedly rejected opposition demands for his resignation. “I consider myself the number one person responsible [for the defeat] but I don’t consider myself the number one guilty person,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service on December 16.

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