‘I am Yezidi and this is evidenced by my birth certificate:’ RPA candidate

‘I am Yezidi and this is evidenced by my birth certificate:’ RPA candidate

“I am an ethnic Yezidi and this is evidenced by the note made in 1982 on my birth certificate,” said Rustam Makhmudyan, running for the RPA list, in an interview with Aravot.am.

Recall that the representatives of the Yezidi community very recently publicly announced that Mr. Makhmudyan is pro-Kurdish and the Yezidi community has not nominated him as a candidate for the parliament.  They argued that by nominating Makhmudyan a candidate for the parliament, the RA authorities intended to convert Yezidis to Kurds.

In an interview with us, Mr. Makhmudyan assured that pro-Kurdish and convert to Kurds, all these are childish phrases and do not fit into the logic, “According to the Constitution, everyone is free to decide his nationality and religious beliefs.  The fact of my being a representative of Yezidi nation is approved by a note made on my birth certificate in 1982”.  Rustam Makhmudyan announced that he is proud to be a Yezidi.  To the questions of what specific programs he has which he will fulfill for the Yazidi community right after having a seat in the parliament, the candidate running for the parliament replied, “If we think that the only remedy for all diseases is the fact of my going to become a lawmaker, it is not so fair.  I am going to the National Assembly to deal with the issues of Yezidis as well as all citizens of Armenia, of course, giving the preference to raise problems of ethnic minorities.”

We were interested to know whether he does not have programs specifically for the Yezidi community as the representatives of this community are concerned that with his becoming a lawmaker, the Yezidis will face serious problems, Mr. Makhmudyan answered, “My program derives from the entire logic of the RPA program which may cover both educational, social, and cultural elements of concern to the Yezidi community.  I will do everything for the Yezidis to be involved in the country’s state, social and political life.”

To our reminder that the representatives of the Yezidi community claimed that they have not guaranteed Mr. Makhmudyan’s candidacy, our interlocutor responded and claimed the opposite, noting that by the initiative and signature of the heads of RA Yezidis-inhabited rural communities, school directors, sportsmen and entrepreneurs, a letter has been sent to the RA President, and along with other three candidates, his candidacy was also introduced.  Back to those who are criticizing him, for instance, the Chairman of the Union of Yezidis in Masis, Kyaram Sloyan, Mr. Makhmudyan noted that neither he nor the Yezidi community knows such person, “Ask him what are his legal grounds to act as a head of Masis.  These people have no status of any kind, they are people just engaged in animal husbandry.”

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