May 21 the National Assembly of the 7th convocation of the Artsakh Republic convened the first session.
According to the Constitution of the Republic of Artsakh and the NA Rules of Procedure, before the election of the President of the Parliament, the session of the newly elected parliament was chaired by senior MP Marcel Petrosyan. He congratulated all the participants of the session and all the people of Artsakh in connection with the convening of the first session of the Republic of Artsakh National Assembly of the 7th convocation and noted: «I am convinced that the highest representative body of the Republic of Artsakh, as in the previous summons, it will remain faithful to his high calling to serve the people and the state and will make a worthy contribution to the preservation and multiplication of our achievements in the past decades of independent statehood.»
The anthem of the Artsakh Republic was played, afterwards Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan, Artsakh Diocesan Leader of the Armenian Apostolic Church, addressed a blessing to the newly elected National Assembly. «I wish you divine blessing, earthly wisdom and Lord's support, to serve the interests of our homeland and the Armenian nation», said the Primate of the Artsakh Diocese.
Then, according to the «NA Rules of Procedure», the swearing-in ceremony of the newly elected deputies took place, after which the chairperson of the sitting announced the composition of the parliament. Based on the protocol of the Central Electoral Commission on being elected to the National Assembly, Marcel Petrosyan also informed about 5 political forces presented in the National Assembly as the result of elections: «Free Motherland - UCA» faction, «United Motherland» Party, Artsakh «Justice» Party, «Armenian Revolutionary Federation», «Democratic Party of Artsakh».
According to Article 7 of the «Rules of Procedure», the factions are also being formed on the opening day of the first session. Thus, there will be 5 factions in the National Assembly of the 7th convocation.
After the registration of the deputies, the chairperson of the sitting presented the agenda of the session, which was not put to a vote, as it is regulated by law.
The legislators discussed the draft decision "On the Establishment of the Republic of Artsakh of the 7th convocation National Assembly Counting Committee». At the suggestion of the MP Artur Tovmasyan, the Counting Committee consisted of 5 members, including representatives from all factions. Presenting the decision of the Counting Committee, the chairperson noted that elected Chairman of the Counting Committee was Eduard Aghabekyan («Free Motherland-UCA» faction), secretary - David Baghdasaryan («United Motherland» faction), members: Metaxe Harotunyan (Artsakh «Justice» faction), Davit Ishkhanyan ("Armenian Revolutionary Federation" faction), Gegham Stepanyan ("Democratic Party of Artsakh" faction).
Turning to the next issue on the agenda, the election of the NA president, according to Article 122 of the «Rules of Procedure», from the "United Motherland” faction Marcel Petrosyan presented Artur Tovmasyan member of the «Free Motherland- UCA» faction on the post. Davit Galstyan from the Artsakh «Justice» faction nominated Vahram Balayan from the «Armenian Revolutionary Federation» party. The latter made a withdrawal, noting that he considers it right for the legislature to be headed by a representative of the political force that makes up the political majority. He also stressed that he supports Arthur Tovmasyan's candidacy for the post of NA President.
Then the chairperson of the sitting presented the biographical data of the candidate, which was followed by the speech of the candidate for the NA President Artur Tovmasyan. The candidate noted that humanity will be the basis of the work in case of his election. In his speech, he also stressed the role of the opposition in effective state-building.
The parliament passed a secret ballot, as a result of which Artur Tovmasyan was elected President of the Republic of Artsakh NA with 29 votes in favor and 4 against.
Presiding over the sitting, the newly elected NA President thanked for the confidence and note that it increases his responsibility to both the National Assembly and the voters.
Next, the issue of electing the NA Vice-President was discussed. Arthur Tovmasyan, the NA President, on behalf of the "Free Homeland-UCA" faction nominated Gagik Baghunts (“United Motherland” faction) in the position of the NA Vice-President. After Gagik Baghunts' speech, the parliament passed a secret ballot.
Gagik Baghunts was elected Vice-President of the National Assembly by 27 votes in favor and 4 against. 2 ballots were declared invalid.
As part of the formation of parliamentary bodies, by 30 deputies in favor and 3 votes against accepted the draft decision of the National Assembly “On the Number of NA Committees, Names and Approving the Spheres of Activity «submitted by the "Free Motherland - UCA" faction.
Next NA President Artur Tovmasyan presented the names of the chairmen and secretaries of the factions approved at the sittings of the factions.
“Free Homeland-UCA” faction:
Chair – Artur Harutunyan
Secretary – Eleonora Avanesyan
“United Motherland” faction:
Chair – Gagik Baghunts
Secretary – Marsel Petrosyan
Artsakh “Justice” faction:
Chair – Davit Galstyan
Secretary – Metaxe Hakobyan
“Armenian Revolutionary Federation” faction:
Chair – Artur Mosiyan
Secretary – Vahram Balayan
“Democratic Party of Artsakh” faction:
Chair – Davit Melkumyan
Secretary – Gegham Stepanyan
The parliament then proceeded to discuss the candidacies of the chairmen of the standing committees.
On behalf of the “Armenian Revolutionary Federation” faction, Artur Mosiyan nominated Vahram Balayan for the post of the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Foreign Relations.
Eduard Aghabekyan has nominated Vladimir Kasyan on behalf of the “Free Homeland-CMD” faction for the post of the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Production and Manufacturing Infrastructure.
Eleonora Avanesyan has nominated Aram Harutyunyan for the post of the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Science, Education, Culture, Youth and Sports.
Seyran Hayrapetyan has been nominated by Nune Melkumyan for the post of the chairman of the Standing Committee on Defense, Security and Law Enforcement.
Gohar Sargsyan has nominated Sevak Aghajanyan for the post of the chairman of the “United Motherland” faction.
Օn behalf of the “Free Motherland-UCA” faction, Hovik Jivanyan nominated Aram Grigoryan for the post of the chairman of the Standing Committee on Social Affairs and Health.
On behalf of the “Free Motherland-UCA” faction Aram Harutyunyan has nominated Artur Harutyunyan for the post of the chairman of the Standing Committee on Budget, Financial and Economic Management.
After the candidates' speeches and questions and answers, the parliament went to a secret ballot, as a result of which:
Vahram Balayan elected chairman of Standing Committee on Foreign Relations (30 for, 3 against),
Vladimir Kasyan (25 for, 7 against) elected chairman of the Standing Committee on Production and Manufacturing Infrastructure,
Aram Harutyunyan (25 for, 7 against) elected chairman of Standing Committee on Science, Education, Culture, Youth and Sports,
Seyran Hayrapetyan (25 for, 8 against) elected chairman of the Standing Committee on Defense, Security and Law Enforcement,
Sevak Aghajanyan (25 for, 8 against) elected chairman of Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs,
Aram Grigoryan (30 for, 3 against) elected chairman of Standing Committee on Social Affairs and Health.
Arthur Harutyunyan (30 for, 3 against) was elected chairman of the Standing Committee on Budget, Financial and Economic Management.
Continuing the work of the session, the NA President Artur Tovmasyan stated, that the heads of the factions have to present the names of the members of the faction on May 22, in order to be included in the standing committee lists.
The NA President, in his concluding speech, noted. "I hope that through dialogue with the government we will be able to give new qualities to the legislative activity of the National Assembly. In terms of political discussions, we already have established traditions. And on the Artsakh issue and on a number of other issues of vital importance for our country, the National Assembly of the previous convocation has created a sufficient experience of political debate and exchange of ideas, which must be continuously enriched. "
Summing up the session, the NA President noted that the new session will be convened in September. After that the first session was closed.