From 21 to 30 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, 681 articles were declared, 350 of which were negative, 15 were positive and 316 were neutral.
In the previous monitoring period, Mayor Hayk Marutyan appeared in the center of criticism. Both the Members of Council of Elders from “Luys” fraction and the “Bright Armenia” party MPs criticized him. Former head of Davtashen district, RPA (Republican Party of Armenia) representative, Ruslan Baghdasaryan has reportedly uncovered a suspicious corruption deal with the municipality. Mr. Baghdasaryan noted that during his one-year tenure, he had discovered a difference of about 60 million drams related to the garbage trucks deal. He notes that the purchase was done from a single person. It should be noted that according to press reports, about 60 million drams have disappeared in the suspicious purchase deal of overall 236 million drams.
The joint photo of Hayk Marutyan and Gagik Khachatryan’s sons appeared on Facebook and raised a wave of discussions. Then the Members of Council of Elders from “Luys” fraction began to make announcements that the municipality had given construction permits in various parts of the city to various companies, including the company owned by Samvel Aleksanyan, in exchange for garbage trucks received as a gift.
Hayk Marutyan tried to deny all this via Facebook live. Hakob Karapetyan, the spokesperson for the Mayor, also made a statement denying the above-mentioned claims, but the Members of Council of Elders from “Luys” fraction and the “Bright Armenia” party MPs began to disseminate information that Hayk Marutyan is lying and he himself signed the relevant papers, not the first deputy mayor as the mayor insisted before.
Some started demanding Hayk Marutyan’s resignation by posting their complaints on their Facebook pages, and the news related to it, have also appeared in the media. Hayk Marutyan’s former partner, actor Hovhannes Azoyan also addressed the mayor with accusatory comment.