The May 8 session of the National Assembly was extraordinary, and the fight between the deputies – unprecedented. During the speech of Edmon Marukyan, leader of the NA “Bright Armenia” faction, the situation became heated, and the deputy of “My Step” faction Sasun Mikaelyan slapped the BAP deputy, after which there was a brawl in the session hall.
Before the brawl, Babken Tunyan, a member of the My Step faction, indirectly called dumb and scoundrel all those who said that the banking secrecy in Armenia was not protected since Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan had recently stated that there are citizens who have deposits of several million Armenian drams in banks, but have applied to the government for social assistance.
Then Babken Tunyan announced that “Bright Armenia” is spreading his phone number. “You say they are giving the phone number of Bright Armenia when people call for the assistance programs of the Ministry of Social Affairs. I don’t know of such a case, but I know of cases when “Bright Armenia” has given my phone number. If they call you, help them. Why are you giving them my number? I’ll tell you an easier option: immediately redirect to my number. You will save both your time and your energy”, Tunyan said. In his response, Edmon Marukyan claimed that they had not spread his phone number. Marukyan also noted that when Tunyan uses scoundrel or similar words from the NA podium, it creates tension.
During the briefing after the brawl in the parliament, Babken Tunyan advised the journalists to look and see what it all started with. “There is a recording, listen to it, see what it started with, who turned to personal insults, who provoked this”, he said, without answering the journalist’s question whether, in his opinion, BAP had spread his phone number.
The Fact Investigation Platform tried to find out whether Edmon Marukyan’s claim that Babken Tunyan had published his own phone number corresponds to the reality or not.
Babken Tunyan himself published his own phone number from the NA podium
After the government published the coronavirus anti-crisis social assistance programs, the BAP regularly announced that thousands of citizens were calling them because people did not know how to apply for support programs.
After this statement of the deputies of the BAP faction, the deputies of the ruling party mocked that “Bright Armenia” was exaggerating, why the citizens should call BAP and not the competent bodies.
During the special session of the National Assembly on April 27, Babken Tunyan suggested calling him personally, publishing his phone number. “I would like to take this opportunity and publish my phone number – 094-036-046. All the citizens who have certain problems and are not able to contact the relevant authorities or me can call me directly in case of such problems.”
After this announcement, Tunyan wrote on his Facebook page, addressing his colleagues of “Bright Armenia”: “When you say that Babken Tunyan has published his phone number and is not answering the calls, will you mind if I pass the mobile phone number of one of the deputies of your faction to the 115 people who have called me? They want to talk to you. Especially the people who have turned to you, and instead of dealing with their issues, you have passed my phone number to them.”
Thus, we can note that the statement of the head of the BAP faction Edmon Marukyan that MP Babken Tunyan himself published his own phone number from the podium of the National Assembly is true, but we cannot rule out that the BAP deputies may have directed the citizens who turned to them to Babken Tunyan.