Yesterday, the mayor of Yerevan, Gagik Beglaryan, also known by Yerevan residents as “Black Gago,” resigned as a result of a scandal involving the beating of one of President Serge Sarkisian’s aids.
Apparently, Beglaryan — who became mayor in 2009 — became enraged when his wife complained to him about not being allowed to sit next to the president at the Placido Domingo concert held in Yerevan last Friday. Aram Kandayan, who is an official presidential aid, had asked her to move to another seat, since only the Prime Minister, the Catholicos of All Armenians or other specified dignitaries are allowed to sit beside him. We know that Kandayan was certainly beaten by Beglaryan, but the circumstances related to how and where the beating took place are not definite.
RFE/RL reported that:
Beglarian, who did not attend the concert, allegedly drove Kandayan to one of his properties in Yerevan and beat up the young official there the next day. Reports claimed that Sarkisian was infuriated by the incident and demanded an official apology from the mayor.
“Unfortunately, an incident did take place,” the presidential press secretary, Armen Arzumanian, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service. “But the media have exaggerated it. In particular, there was no kidnapping or brutal beating.”
Yeah, right, of course there wasn’t.
According to Zhamanak newspaper, apparently the general prosecutor’s office is about to open an investigation into the events surrounding Kandayan’s beating. The newspaper also does not rule out that Beglaryan could either be kicked out of the Republican party or else receive a stern reprimand.
The Armenian Observer was one of the first to break the story about Beglarayn. Hetq Online also wrote about the incident. I am sure more juicy tidbits about this story will surface in the hours and days to come.
There’s already rumors circulating about the “real reason” why Beglaryan was forced to step down from his post, which aren’t really worth mentioning. But one thing is obvious — the ruling authorities are making it clear that nonsense from anyone in a position of power cannot go on unheeded. The mayor of Yerevan must not be allowed to beat people up like a common thug hanging out on the street corner, playing out a scene from the film “Goodfellas.” He made himself look ridiculous, and the president would have been made to look like a total fool if he let Beglaryan keep his job. The president had no choice but to sack him. Obviously, he did the right thing. It’s time to appoint someone with at least some intellectual capacity, not to mention proper manners and self-control to lead this city. There is speculation that Daron Markaryan, son of the late prime minister Antranik Markaryan, may become Beglaryan’s successor.
Let me know what you think in the comments section.