YEREVAN (A.W.)—After weeks of public discontent and protest, Yerevan Mayor Taron Margaryan officially announced his resignation earlier today.
“I’d like to inform you about my decision to resign from Yerevan Mayor’s office and to express my gratitude to each of you for cooperation and teamwork,” read a part of his public statement posted to his office’s official website.
In the statement, Margaryan—the son of Armenia’s former prime minister and founder of the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA), the late Andranik Margaryan—noted that he “always tried to hear out” all citizens in order to solve problems within the capital and to “stay faithful” to his promises and programs. He also took the opportunity to apologize to all those citizens for interrupting this “common path.”
Margaryan—who assumed office in Nov. 2011—has long been the subject of criticism, especially in regard to municipal corruption, public transportation, and architectural decisions, particularly the demolition of historic buildings. A little over a week after Nikol Pashinyan assumed Armenia’s premiership following several weeks of protests and acts of civil disobedience, demonstrators broke in to Yerevan’s city hall and demanded Margaryan’s resignation on May 16.
Several other protests under the “We Reject Taron” banner took place throughout the city over the past month. A petition for Margaryan’s resignation was also widely circulated on social media and and accumulated thousands of signatures.
“Many citizens have provided numerous testimonies and reports on crime, thievery, frauds, all sorts of illegalities and anti-constitutional actions ever since Margaryan took the post of the Mayor,” the petition read. “The Mayor and his team have consistently ignored such reports,” the petition went on.