On April 11, Media Center hosted a discussion-press conference “Prior to Municipal
Elections: Urban Development Issues of Yerevan and Candidates' Suggested
Solutions”. The invited speakers were members of respective proportionate lists, representatives of all political forces running in the forthcoming Yerevan city council elections: Levon Igityan (RPA), Boris Hayrapeyan (ARF), Gurgen Gasparyan (PAP), Hrayr Sargsyan (OEK), Gurgen Hakobyan (Barev Yerevan), Avet Poghosyan (ANC), Mesrop Arakelyan (Mission), as well as Victims of State Needs NGO's Sedrak Baghdasaryan and Our City initiative member Vardan Geravetyan.
All the participants assured that they are planning to fight illegal construction in the Armenian capital should they get elected into the city council, as well as against corruption; they presented the directions and programs on the mechanisms that would make it possible from their perspective.
Republican candidate for the city council Levon Igityan urged the other participants not to blame architects for illegal construction or distortion of Yerevan city plan.
“The urban development council simply did not see the city plan, while it was reported to the government that the plan had been approved, that is why there are so many issues,” stated Igityan.
Gurgen Hakobyan, representing Barev Yerevan alliance, expressed his discontent with the current city council's work, stressing that all the decrees are adopted by unanimous “yes” votes.
Prosperous Armenia's Gurgen Gasparyan, city council member, countered that due to his faction's efforts dismantlement of a great number of kiosks was prevented.
Mission party representative Mesrop Arakelyan believes state and control structures should be moved from the “small center” to other administrative areas of the capital. He said that way the issue of Yerevan's proportionate urban development would be solved.
OEK's Hrayr Sargsyan said the seismic resistance issue of the newly built dwellings is highly important and stressed the need for enhanced role of condominiums.
The only option to rule out illegalities in the sphere of urban development is change of power, said ANC representative Avet Poghosyan, as well as political responsibility for all the issues.
Victims of State Needs NGO's Sedrak Baghdasaryan and Our City initiative member Vardan Geravetyan asked questions to city council candidates about possible solutions to a number of issues related to the urban development of the Armenian capital.
“Twenty nine historical monuments have been destroyed in Yerevan, and nothing has been done to prevent it, if the city hall cannot solve those issues and our president has to come and say “it is ugly”, maybe there is no need for a mayor at all. There are issues the solution of which merely requires abiding by the law?” said Baghdasaryan.
Full video footage of the discussion can be found at (link).