An Armenian woman has been arrested after footage circulated online depicting her physically and sexually abusing her child. The woman has been identified as Anna Arevshatyan from the town Gavar in the Gegharkunik province who settled with her husband and five children in Yerevan. She and her husband Tatul Madatyan have been involved in several criminal cases in the past. Madatyan was convicted of raping his underage daughter and spent several months in prison, while Arevshatyan has also spent time in prison for perjury. The case is under investigation by the Interior Ministry and Human Rights Defender’s office.
Campaign season for the upcoming mayoral elections in Yerevan has officially started. On September 17, Yerevan residents will elect members for the 65 seats of the municipal assembly, who will then appoint the new mayor. Tigran Avinyan, former deputy prime minister in PM Nikol Pashinyan’s administration, is currently serving as interim mayor. The opposition Armenia Alliance and I Have Honor Alliance are not participating in the election. Disagreeing with the boycott, Armenia Alliance parliamentarian Andranik Tevanyan resigned from the National Assembly to run for mayor under a bloc called Mother Armenia. Mane Tandilyan is leading the Aprelu Yerkir party, affiliated with former Artsakh State Minister and Russian billionaire Ruben Vardanyan. Hayk Marutyan is also running to return to his former post of mayor, which he held until he was ousted by the Civil Contract Party.
The ruling party has been drawing parallels between the opposition’s contestation of the last election and former U.S. President Donald Trump’s series of indictments. The opposition party contested the Georgian Dream victory in the 2020 parliamentary election, accusing the ruling party of vote buying, voter intimidation and the use of administrative resources. “By American standards, in Georgia, the entire opposition, all heads of opposition TVs, and all chairpersons of rich NGOs need to be arrested,” People’s Power, a spinoff of the ruling party, said in an August 21 statement. Government critics have warned that the ruling party can use this parallel to dismiss allegations of vote rigging in the upcoming election in 2024. “By drawing parallels with Trump’s indictment, the ruling party of Georgia attacks election monitoring NGOs, as a part of its election rigging strategy, in an attempt to undermine public trust in them,” opposition politician Giorgi Gakharia said on August 21.