2018 October 16

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Oct/16/2018:🔥 Former Yerevan mayor Taron Margaryan is the subject of 2 criminal investigations; more reforms in the military; parties are negotiating electoral code reforms (details inside); Prime Minister Pashinyan resigns🍿; smoking ban reforms are being drafted (MORE BELOW) 🔥
by ar_david_hh

All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.


NSS chief Vanetsyan says there is a criminal investigation against the former Yerevan mayor Taron Margaryan, after an investigative news agency contacted them with evidence of fraud regarding his real estate. The investigation will show whether he’ll be charged with crime or not. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146315

.... says Taron Margaryan is also a defendant in the Yerevan Foundation corruption scheme. He was told to pay the stolen money back. The authorities have already recovered AMD 1bln, another 810mln should arrive soon. The charges will be dropped against him once the funds are recovered. The foundation director is also facing charges. He has cooperated with the authorities to recover those funds. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146315 ---- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RG5LwXE8rEI

NSS chief says the person who ordered the NSS-SIS call wiretapping is a very well known person, and he/she is Armenian. Won’t give any names. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146330

In past, some frontline soldiers serving in high mountains had to use the snow for drinking water. Now, they are receiving proper fresh water reserves in containers http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146328

The government confirms and submits the electoral code reform package to Parliament for approval. It makes elections “hamamasnakan” instead if “taracqayin” (please clarify for us in comments), makes it easy to form coalitions, more time for their formation, 4% minimum barrier to enter Parliament instead of 5%, less financial burden on candidates, minimum 4 political parties in Parliament, minimum 30% female quota instead of current 25%, revoked “bonus system” in some regional elections in which smaller parties automatically get seats, stricter voter ID requirements to make sure the voters have a valid passport, more public debates between candidates, all media outlets will have the right to re-broadcast the debates for free even if it’s done on a competitor network, 50% more free air time for candidates to broadcast their ads, equal abilities to display ads in army, removal of high ranking officers from voting stations while the soldiers vote, ability for disabled voters to change their assigned voting station to the one they find more accessible, more time for observers to register to do their work, voting station commission won’t be allowed to limit the total number of journalists and observers, more clear protocols on how to contact and invite foreign observers, removal of non-eligible voters from the list of voters. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146312

... Pashinyan says the bill simplifies the process. Disagrees that the parties will need 7 months (until May) to get to know the new rules. Says the voting is also simpler for voters. No need to use a pen. The voter takes the ballot of the candidate of choice and casts it. Less confusion for the commission, due to lack of need for using different colored pens (apparently this was an issue during on 2017).

... 1st Deputy PM Ararat Mirzoyan says they don’t plan to remove the Parliamentary Bonus System which guarantees 1/3rd of seats to small parties, but he disagrees with the law.

... the law requires the government and allies to hold at least 54% of the seats, otherwise new elections are held. Justice Minister Zeynalyan says they should also amend the law to make it possible to hold new elections if the governing party loses its 54% seats sometime during their governance.

... the government has rejected an amendment by the Defense Ministry to implement electronic voting system for soldiers serving in other countries. Cites the un-trustworthiness of such systems.

... they also rejected ARF’s proposal to let voters elect specific individuals on the ballot instead of the political party. As of now, it’s the political party that gets elected and decides who takes the mandate. ARF also proposed (and got rejected) to reduce the maximum allowed seats by the ruling party from 2/3 to 3/5 (lol k) https://news.am/arm/news/476206.html

Government agrees that the 4th parliamentary party can score as low as 2% of votes to qualify for seats http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146357

... Parliament will vote on this bill on October 22nd.

Prime Minister Pashinyan has submitted his resignation. He’ll continue to act as PM until a new one is elected, or in this case, not elected and snap elections held https://youtu.be/yXRKu85oOEU?t=33


http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146364

President Sarkissian has accepted the government’s resignation. The Parliament has 14 days to vote http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146371

All 3 parties have agreed not to appoint their candidate for the Prime Minister. Snap elections are almost guaranteed now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uO4mVMLXcI

Pashinyan says 90% of government workers were appointed by the previous administration, but it isn’t necessary to replace them. Asks the residents to give a chance to a former official Hunan Poghosyan who was recently appointed as Syunik Governor. Poghosyan was a former high ranking police official. http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/261232

The Health Ministry submits a bill to toughen the penalties for irresponsible smoking. The law prohibits smoking in closed and semi-closed (like porches) public buildings, work offices, medical buildings, youth and health centers, playgrounds, near historical monuments, protected nature zones, in the covered bus stops (expect riots over this one), hotel‘s public areas. The cigarette seller can refuse the sale if the buyer appears to be below 18 and refuses to show ID. Cigarettes cannot be discounted or given as a gift with the purchase of another item. Ads will be limited. Cigarettes cannot be placed for display in shopping centers, so cigarette “booths” will be outlawed. Instead, the seller can present the list of available cigarettes if asked by the buyer. Illegal advertising fine will be 800k. Smoking in a transport to be punishable by 50k fine, and this applies to drivers too. The fines are increased to 200k if the violator is a public official. 21% of smokers say they started got into smoking because of ease of access to cigarettes.

This should reduce smoking population by 2% annually. Currently, 31% of people say they smoke. http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146245

Lebanese-Armenian donors and investors will help to build the 3rd freeway connecting Armenia to Artsakh Republic http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/261251

Armenian soccer team defeats Northern Macedonia 4:0, after losing to Gibraltar by 0:1 http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146372

Azerbaijan expands its black-list over several high-profile Russian women visiting Artsakh at the invitation of First Lady. One of the persona non-grata is the deputy president of the foreign affairs committee of Russian Parliament http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/261228

Armenian arm wrestler wins a gold medal in world championship held in Turkey https://youtu.be/KPKqan3ba0U?t=99

Taron Margaryan is innocent until proven guilty in the court of law.


Link to original report: https://old.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/9ot6n9/anticorruption_oct162018_former_yerevan_mayor/

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