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Ethics Committee Will Not Take Disciplinary Action Against Republican MP

The Ethics Committee of Armenia’s National Assembly will not consider the claim filed by the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor Office (HCAV) against Shushan Petrosyan, a popular Armenian singer and member of the ruling Republican Party’s parliamentary faction.

Last month, Petrosyan engaged in an argument on Facebook with user Gayane Shahinyan after the latter wrote a criticizing comment about the Armenian government and the Defense Ministry following a yet another death of a young conscript in the army. The republican lawmaker, in particular, called Shahinyan a “brat” and threatened to “gauge your eyes out” if the woman dared to open her “disgusting mouth to speak lousy about my country, our army, and our Defense Minister.”

Speaking to reporters Monday, however, Ethics Committee head Khosrov Harutyunyan, a fellow republican, said the application against Petrosyan would not even be considered because of lack of grounds. The lawmaker’s words, he added, were not to be taken literally since they were “only aimed at reprimanding” the Facebook user. 

“As a child, I was often told similar things by older people. But they were only scolding me. Do you think Shushan was literally going to gauge [Shahinyan’s] eyes out? She did not violate any law with her words, so we do not intend to initiate proceedings,” Harutyunyan stated, insisting that the conflict was an “interpersonal matter,” and the committee did not have a place in it. Shahinyan, on the other hand, could take the issue to court, if she wanted to, Harutyunyan said.