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 Monday, December 9 2019 18:39
Shushan Safaryan

Sahak Mashalyan and Aram Ateshyan will compete for the place of head  of the diocese of Constantinople

Sahak Mashalyan and Aram Ateshyan will compete for the place of head  of the diocese of Constantinople

ArmInfo.  Bishop Sahak Mashalyan and Chairman of the Religious Assembly Archbishop Aram Ateshyan will compete for the place of head of the diocese of Constantinople of the Armenian Apostolic Church (AAC).

According to the data, the so-called "Orange Front" received 9008  votes, providing 89 delegates for Mashalyan. The "Purple Front", led  by another candidate, Archbishop Aram Ateshyan, received 3,529 votes  and 12 delegates. One delegate preferred to remain independent. 753  ballots were declared invalid, 376 people voted with blank ballots.

Since morning of December 8, the Armenians of Turkey voted at the  place of registration for delegates representing the two candidates.  In total, 13,704 members of the Armenian community took part in the  vote, which is about 30% of voters with the right to vote. Many did  not come to the polls, considering the elections unfair, since the  election qualification established by the Turkish state limited the  possibility of nominating a number of clergymen as candidates. Thus,  on December 8, the Armenian community elected 102 delegates, who will  elect a patriarch on December 11.

According to the results of the vote count, Mashalyan and Ateshyan  went to the second round, and on December 11 they will compete for  the coveted seat of the head of the diocese of Constantinople.

It should be noted that since 1998, Mesrop Mutafyan held the position  of the First Hierarch of the AAC in Constantinople. However, after  the operations and several assassination attempts carried out by  members of the Ergenekon terrorist organization, the 53-year-old  Patriarch's condition worsened, and then the doctors diagnosed him  with incurable amnesia, and later fell into a coma. From 2004 to  March 8, 2019 (on this day Mutafyan passed away), the Turkish  leadership did not give permission to the Armenian community (the  head of the national community according to Turkish laws should at  the same time be the spiritual head) to announce the election of a  new Patriarch or even his co-ruler. All this time, the locum tenens  of the Constantinople diocese was Aram Ateshyan, and the community  had mixed attitude to him. The community has repeatedly appealed to  the Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II with a request to remove  Ateshyan because he is not engaged in his direct duties, does not  protect the interests of the community and is engaged in  self-enrichment.

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