Politics 14:33 17/01/2022 Armenia

Opposition MP: Unofficial reports suggest Alen Simonyan included his wife in US business trip

Unofficial reports suggest that Armenian National Assembly Speaker Alen Simonyan included his wife in a business trip to the U.S., MP Aregnaz Manukyan from the main opposition Hayastan (Armenia) faction told a parliament session on Monday.

In an official statement, the parliament said Simonyan travelled to the U.S. with some of his colleagues from the ruling Civil Contract faction and parliament staffers.

“Alen Simonyan and his spouse reportedly flew business class,” the lawmaker said, asking Deputy Speaker Hakob Arshakyan to comment on the authenticity of the reports.

“Please tell us how much money has been spent for this visit from the state budget, i.e. from the pockets of the proud citizens of Armenia,” she said.

Manukyan noted that Alen Simonyan visited seven countries in the past 4 months of his tenure, for which nearly $120 thousand were spent from the state budget.

Hakob Arshakyan expressed surprise over the deputy’s questions. “To be honest, I am a little surprised that you are asking such questions. You are an MP and should know that all expenses are transparent, including travel expenses," he said.

The latter assured that there is no "secret business trip" and all the expenses indicated by the opposition deputy are quite transparent.

"Your answer is ridiculous and demagogic, to say the least, especially when you claim that the expenses are transparent. For example, I submitted an inquiry to find out how much money was spent on the renovation of Alen Simonyan’s government house. I was told that the expenses are considered as secret. Thus, we cannot speak of any transparency here," Manukyan stressed, adding that the same applies to President Armen Sarkissian’s business trips.



Source Panorama.am
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