From 21 October to 10 November, 2019, the “Media Advocate” initiative followed online media reports on the mayor of Yerevan, Hayk Marutyan’s personality and activities.
35 leading Armenian news agencies have been monitored.
In the specified period, 275 articles were declared, 98 of which were negative, 45 were positive and 132 were neutral.
Hayk Marutyan has again been the target of criticism during the monitoring period, though positive articles have also been declared.
It is noted that Karapet Shahinyan was appointed as the Secretary of the Shengavit administrative district. This appointment has been criticized. According to media reports, Hayk Marutyan appointed him to a position despite the fact that his father was an election fraud.
The problems related to the public transport continue; citizens constantly raise this issue. The news outlets remind that during the election campaign Hayk Marutyan stated about their goal to introduce a unified ticketing system for public transport, import buses and build a new subway station. The news agency adds that nothing has been done yet.
Member of Yerevan Council of Elders, Tehmina Vardanyan has criticized the fact that Hayk Marutyan used plain to pay visit to Georgia. She particularly noted: “Yerevan Mayor Hayk Marutyan is the one who always states that the municipality budget is saved. In that case, flying from Yerevan to Tbilisi by plane is, surely, roughly perceived.” Hakob Karapetyan, spokesperson of the municipality, clarified the situation related to the flight. “Yerevan delegation’s visit to our neighboring country’s capital Tbilisi in early October, was presented as a luxurious step. First of all, let’s make it clear departure by cars requires a number of extra costs, including food and overnight expenses for drivers, which is simply excluded in case of travelling by plane.”
According to media, when being opposition representatives, these authorities have repeatedly stated that city benches were acquired at an expensive price during Taron Margaryan’s tenure. According to media reports, Hayk Marutyan also pays the same price and even a little more in order to acquire city benches.
According to media reports, it is not clear whether Hayk Marutyan was a dual citizen when he was elected as Yerevan mayor.
Political scientist Edgar Arakelyan notes that Hayk Marutyan has solved the problem of garbage disposal and stated that he is convinced, the issue of urban transport will soon be resolved as well.