The “Public discussion” turned into a scandal

On December 8, Petros Ghazaryan’s “Public discussion” turned into a scandal on the Public Television. The topic was the situation over the municipality related to the donation of Kamaz trucks, which caused a heated discussion. The guests of the program were MP’s Ani Samsonyan from the “Bright Armenia” party, Sergey Bagratyan from the “Prosperous Armenia” fraction, Sona Ghazaryan from the “My step” fraction, and Hakob Karapetyan, the press secretary of Yerevan Mayor. There was a special emphasis on Samvel Aleksanyan’s ties with “Alex & Holding”, de jure-de-facto issues related to that theme, transparency and corruption risks of it.

Petros Ghazaryan was not neutral, he was referring to the past anthorities, defending the interests of the municipality. Ani Samsonyan asked Petros Ghazaryan not to manipulate. “You make us a fool, states the public. Mr. Ghazaryan, let me ask you whether, for example, “Multi” Group donates Kamaz trucks to the Municipality, whether Gagik Tsarukyan has anything to do with it.” Mostly, the dispute started between Ani Samsonyan and Hakob Karapetyan. The speakers were not listening to each other, Petros Ghazaryan was unable to give the other two guests an equal opportunity to speak as well; Sergey Bagratyan for example had little opportunity to respond. At the end of the discussion only, when Petros Ghazaryan, felt that the balance was broken, he noted: “The opposition is right; it should check, recheck, blame, set up committees, it would only be good if it also publishes the facts.”

“Media Advocate” initiative notes that the principle of neutrality is being regularly violated by the Public Television.