Gagik Beglaryan

Gagik Beglaryan

Former mayor of Yerevan, resigned on December 8, 2010
Country: Armenia

Biography of Gagik Beglaryan

Gagik Beglaryan, also known as Black Gago, is a former mayor of Yerevan. He resigned on December 8, 2010, following a scandal involving a violent incident with a presidential protocol officer. Beglaryan's wife was denied a seat next to the president, which led to a conflict between the mayor and the protocol officer. Initially, the authorities denied the incident, but it was eventually acknowledged, resulting in Beglaryan's resignation.

Before becoming mayor, Beglaryan served as the head of administration in one of the municipal communities in Yerevan. He was elected as a candidate from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) in the municipal elections. Beglaryan holds a high position within the RPA and is a member of its executive body, along with the Prime Minister of Armenia, Tigran Sargsyan.

Apart from his political career, Beglaryan is a prominent entrepreneur involved in various sectors such as light industry, construction, and land trading. His brother, Akop Beglaryan, was appointed as the head of the State Procurement Agency. The nickname "Black Gago" is a sign of his status, as several Armenian politicians and oligarchs are known by such nicknames, which sometimes indicate their proximity to the criminal world.

There have been reports and speculations about Beglaryan's associations with criminal elements, and his name has appeared in the news related to criminal incidents. However, official developments and confirmations regarding these stories have been lacking. For example, there were reports of a brawl near a strip club involving Beglaryan's affiliates and supporters of oligarch and leader of the Prosperous Armenia Party, Gagik Tsarukyan.

The incident with the protocol officer at a concert led to Beglaryan assaulting him after venting his frustrations. The details of the incident remain unofficial, but it is believed that Beglaryan expressed his dissatisfaction with the officer's actions towards his wife and subsequently beat him at his silk factory called "Metaks."

In the aftermath of the incident, Beglaryan faced a boycott from the presidency, and his apology was demanded as a condition for retaining his position. However, he chose to resign instead. The president expressed his disapproval of Beglaryan's behavior, and the mayor officially submitted his resignation.

Political analyst Victor Yakubyan suggested that the incident may have been the trigger rather than the sole reason for Beglaryan's resignation. He speculated that Beglaryan's close ties with former President Robert Kocharyan's circle or his potential involvement in the "Pzo case" could have played a role. The "Pzo case" involved the investigation of crimes committed by Armenian thief-in-law Arman Kazaryan, known as Pzo, who was arrested in the United States for embezzlement from insurance companies. Yakubyan proposed that Beglaryan's resignation might have been a way to deflect suspicions of higher-ranking officials' involvement in Pzo's financial activities in Yerevan's construction sector.

Overall, Gagik Beglaryan's tenure as mayor of Yerevan was marked by controversy and his involvement in various business ventures. His resignation came after a highly publicized incident, highlighting the challenging political landscape in Armenia.