2019 February 5
Anti-Corruption Feb/5/2019: \ mayoral candidate investigated \ Ijevan hospital director \ more car fleet cuts \ train \ taxi drivers \ Freedom House \ Samvel Babayan & Artsakh \ Azeri soldier \ more below...
All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law. Currency in Armenian Drams unless specified otherwise.
One of the candidates of the upcoming Vardenis mayoral elections is under a criminal investigation for a possible voter bribery.
As part of a legal charity initiative by a legal organization, some residents were supposed to receive food aid. The candidate's campaign workers distributed the legal aid but claimed it was coming from the candidate.
Two of the families who received such aid came forward and reported that they were told to vote for the candidate after receiving the charity food, which would be illegal.
(Last year, the government passed tighter anti-bribery laws prohibiting many types of charity by candidates during the election season.)
PM Pashinyan and IRS have decided to discount the next generation receipt machines from 160k AMD to 60k for businesses which are required to have these new devices. 25,000 businesses will pay the lower fee, and receive a partial refund if they earlier bought it for 160k.
The government plans to end its monopoly in the receipt machine area and allow businesses to purchase the units from others. The new units became a requirement beginning January 1st, and are part of IRS's fight to reduce tax avoidance.
Ijevan medical center's former director is the subject of an investigation, after a job applicant contacted the police and notified that the director allegedly demanded a 1.5mln bribe to hire him on 2015, but refused to hire after taking the money.
As part of spending cuts, Lori governor's office will cut the car fleet from 7 to 3. The process has already begun.
South-Caucasus Railways giant has purchased the second new electric train, which will provide an additional express service between Yerevan and Gyumri. The train is equipped with disability accommodations, air conditioning, anti fire system.
The railway usage rose 5% last year. 385,000 riders; 64,000 of whom were international. Yerevan-Batumi (Georgia) had 53,000 passengers. Yerevan-Gyumri ticket is AMD 2.5k and the travel takes 2 hours.
OEK chief Arthur Baghdasaryan has allegedly sold the H3 channel to a Russia-based buyer, who plans to change its name to ABC and increase the political coverage
Several taxi drivers will demand mayor Hayk Marutyan to resign for not creating more taxi parking areas in the already-crowded Center district, and for enforcing the traffic laws.
The driver complaints that he is receiving tickets for illegal parking. He also complains that the street cameras function, and they caught him committing traffic violations, for which he received tickets. He wants all the tickets to be pardoned. He also complains that Hayk Marutyan received a salary premium (which he did not) while "doing nothing to solve the issued that taxi drivers face".
In the past several years, the municipality has built 139 parking areas (80% in Center) that can serve 550 taxis. The municipality has built spaces outside of Center too, but taxi drivers want more areas specifically in the Center because the business is better there.
Freedom House reports big improvements in civil and political rights in Armenia since the 2018 revolution.
Armenia has added 6 points and received 51/100, or 4/7 (the lower the better, former was 4.5), which is the best result since 2004. The report talks about an improvement during the elections and the fight against bribery.
Samvel Babayan, former Artsakh defense minister, was released from jail last year after the court earlier found him guilty of illegal possession of a portable Igla SAM unit. He called it a setup by the Serj government (says actual importers were found but never arrested) because of his support of Serj's opponent, and for opposing Serj's plans to give certain lands to Azerbaijan.
Says that during 2017, Serj went to Artsakh and told the authorities that there are going to be land concessions, which Samvel Babayan opposed and viewed as illegal.
Foreign Ministry is working with Russian FM to resolve the problems that have resulted in several Armenian news sites being blocked in Russia. Armenian Times is also unreachable in the country.
Singer Serj Tankian and his wife Angela have helped 200 provincial families as part of several charity programs that help combat poverty.
Foreign Ministry plans to discuss with the Israeli officials the country's drone sales to Azerbaijan. Few weeks ago, a drone company directors lost their licensing for illegal operations, but the company itself is still allowed to sell drones.
Azeri border guard Elnur Elman oglu Husseinzadeh has been released from Artsakh Republic prison and will be sent to a 3rd country where he could possibly seek asylum to avoid a deportation to Azerbaijan, where the authorities have launched an arrest warrant for him. Elnur H. has served 2 years in Artsakh prison for illegally crossing the border and surrendering himself to Armenian soldiers in the trenches.
Artsakh president's spokesman Babayan says:
"The man did not commit any other crimes. We cannot violate his human rights by keeping him in prison just because he is an Azeri.
While surrendering, Husseinzadeh said he doesn't want to return to Azerbaijan. We cannot say which 3rd country he will be sent for his own safety, because the Azeri agents might harm him. He had no complaints about the treatment while in prison, and had Red Cross visit him periodically."
Azeri Turan news agency journalist Shahin Hajiyev and his crew have visited Armenia to receive a press accreditation to attend Foreign Ministry Q&A sessions. The license was issued. He has since taken an interview from an Armenian political analyst.
Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/anis7r/anticorruption_feb52019_mayoral_candidate/
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|