2018 August 17
Anti-Corruption 8/17/2018: 🧢 100th day rally's important parts; series of high ranking officials charged with corruption; hundreds of millions recovered
Disclaimer: All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law, even if they may sound as being guilty. Currency in Armenian Drams ֏ unless specified otherwise.
Rally begun from Artsakh St https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGwvetnp8qk
PM Pashinyan's speech (quality will get better in a few minutes): https://youtu.be/_fEGaIBLl3A?t=6925
I'll be covering somewhat significant parts of the speech.
PM presents the whole staff. Actor and mayor's candidate Hayk Marutyan gets the loudest cheers.
PM says: This is a unique day in Armenia's history. Hundreds of thousands have arrived today, police, security forces, Artsakh citizens, diaspora representatives, are all together in unity.
No international analytical company predicted this could happen in Armenia, all without a blood. Says there are no other forces behind this victory but the will of the public. Calls the situation in Armenia a "Direct Democracy".
Encourages the public to be more active in holding the government accountable. Applauds the fact that the economy not only hasn't suffered, but even improved, despite the accepted belief that all revolutions result in short time economic decline.
Presents a more specific emigration stats specifically after the revolution (not H1 as a whole). There were 29,000 more people who returned than left. Compared to the May-August of 2017, the number was a negative 6,000. As for foreigners, 34,000 more have arrived in the past several months compared to the 2017 period.
Says many people don't just come here temporarily, but they buy houses too. Cites the fact that Yerevan housing prices have increased by 20% very recently. Says the money flow out of the country has been reduced, and the investments and bank account holdings have increased. Predicts a great economy,calls for reforms to allow all businesses play by the same rules to achieve this.
Says it took him 45 minutes after becoming PM to end the monopoly rules on banana, fuel and sugar industries. (the prices of sugar and banana did in fact go down according to the latest stats)
The political revolution is over. Now we enter the period of economic revolution.
The crowd bursts in cheers when he says all the thieves and corruptioneers will be exposed and the funds will be recovered. Questions whether the courts are truly independent. Reflects the opinion that many of today's judges aren't trusted by the public. Nonetheless, he won't make "phone calls" to the judges, like the previous administrations have done. The judges must know that they can't receive calls from the old regime representatives, either. Calls for former politicians and current judges to "get their act together and not to fool with the people". Vows to implement reforms.
The crowd explodes in cheers when he says only one of Serj's (didn't name him directly) brother's bank accounts had $30,000,000 in it and we are going to start asking where they got that money from. Every stolen luma will be returned. Says Transitional Justice system needs to be implemented, like many countries have successfully done during their transitional periods.
Criticizes Robert Kocharyan for playing a victim of political repression. Says the fact that he is free right now is a proof that this administration doesn't "make calls" to target people. Says no one should get away with killing 10 Armenians. All the murderers will be prosecuted, he promises. The crowd chants "Nikol". https://youtu.be/_fEGaIBLl3A?t=9649
He criticizes his opponents for creating fake accounts, buying news and spreading propaganda according to which Pashinyan is here to give Artsakh away. Says he hasn't even negotiated a single thing yet. Blasts the old administration for being the ones who negotiated deals that would give some lands to Azerbaijan. Says he has seen all those documents.
Calls them army and country plunderers, mice who steal grain (probably referring former PM Muk Abrahamyan).
Says he can only represent Armenia, and that Artsakh government is the only entity who can make decisions about Artsakh. "Take a note, our nation will destroy any provocation by Azerbaijan", the crowd explodes in cheers. https://youtu.be/_fEGaIBLl3A?t=9917
Says he is ready to negotiate peace because that's the goal. Asks the crowd members to remove signs disrespectful to (possibly Azeri) flags of other nations. Says today is the day of Armenian flag.
Promises not to make any Artsakh related decisions behind the closed doors. Hints that the public will decide (possibly referendum) in the event of a possible resolution plan.
Mocks the opposition figures who said Nikol's actions will results in a civil war in Armenia. Anyone who threatens with civil war, the law enforcement will deal with it.
Mocks the HHK for "shedding tears" and claiming the ARM-RUS relations are bad. Says the relations are stronger than ever. There is a new joint ARM-RUS humanitarian project that is unprecedented in our history, and that the public will know the details soon. Says ARM will also continue to strengthen ties with the West. Calls for Russian political pundits not to sensationalize events and spread false information about Armenia worsening relations with RUS.
Says the old admin is the one who worsened relation with RUS by being corrupt and blaming some of the corruption issues on "outside forces". (is he referring to electricity prices and Electric Yerevan?)
Story time: https://youtu.be/_fEGaIBLl3A?t=10593
Says some of the ministries should be dissolved and their duties to be merged with others because the government is too big and spends too much. Spending reforms are needed.
He is proud that despite all the anti-corruption fight, there hasn't been a single instance of a business being taken away from a former official and being appropriated by the new administration members. Calls this an important part of reassuring businesses and investors that their property rights will be respected. Calls for more investments in the country.
He says if the business owned by an oligarch hasn't payed taxes and accumulated so much in debt that it can't pay off now, it will be given a grace period to pay the debt in partial installments. This is part of the plan that prioritizes businesses to pay taxes, instead of shutting them down or criminally prosecuting CEOs.
Applauds the military (and later police, NSS) for refusing to go against the people during the Velvet Revolution https://youtu.be/_fEGaIBLl3A?t=11546
Says the Constitution needs changes to allow the Parliament to dissolve itself.
Today was also Pashinyan's daughter's birthday https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6NQ6GgkBGg
--- end of rally coverage ---
Prosecutors will appeal the release of Kocharyan in the Court of Cassation, to try to send him back to jail https://armenpress.am/arm/news/944187/
Prosecutor's office says Manvel Grigoryan will spend additional 2 months behind the bars. He is accused of stealing products belonging to the ARM military, and possession of illegal weapons. The court trial hasn't happened yet. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/944138/
General prosecutor's office says that during July-August, 50 social security employees from various locations have been charged in 92 criminal cases. Total of AMD 627mln damage was caused. So far, the AMD 27mln has been recovered https://news.am/arm/news/466708.html
... and the number of criminal cases against car servicing companies for avoiding taxes and falsifying documents is 26, for the months of July-August. Around AMD 2bln damage was done, from which AMD 137mln has been recovered https://news.am/arm/news/466709.html
NSS arrests two former Ministry of Emergency officials, the deputy minister and the head of staff, for stealing funds from the budget https://news.am/arm/news/466675.html
NSS agents raided former PM Hovik Muk Abrahamyan's daughter's Yerevan apartment. It is unknown for what purposes https://news.am/arm/news/466674
The police audit in Shengavit finds a corruption case involving a department accountant, who illegally transferred AMD 17mln to himself and other employees. The 15mln has been recovered https://news.am/arm/news/466790.html
The police ramps up the enforcement of traffic laws. In the recent days, hundreds of drivers were submitted to prosecutor's office for driving their cars with a suspended license. https://armlur.am/831807/
Ministry of Defense will allow soldiers to use personal cell phones in military units during non-active situations. The phones cannot have cameras or an internet connection, and should only have the capability to make basic phone calls. Soldiers will be familiarized with what information they cannot share https://news.am/arm/news/466699.html
The Committee of military industry will split from the Defense Ministry and become a separate body. This will allow it to gather more non-public resources and have fewer restrictions on cooperating with the local tech companies that produce weapons https://news.am/arm/news/466735.html
Artsakh army has repelled an infiltration attempt of 15 Azeri soldiers in the northern part of the country. The Armenian side has no casualties, while the other side's casualties are still unknown https://armenpress.am/arm/news/944139/
Ministry of Health and an eye-care charity will provide free preventative eye exams to pre-school and school children across the country https://armenpress.am/arm/news/944136/
Two prominent members of Sasna Tsrer, Arayik Khandoyan and Varujan Avetisyan, have been released from jail under the guarantees of BHK members https://youtu.be/Zy7-dqRvHtQ?t=13
Ministry of Health in 100 days: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/944118/
PR Pashinyan in 100 days
Deputy PM Mirzoyan in 100 days: https://news.am/arm/news/466733.html
Ministry of Diaspora in 100 days: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/944148/
Ministry of Transportation & Tech in 100 days: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/944155/
Ministry of Labor in 100 days: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/944176/
Ministry of Territorial Administration & Development in 100 days: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/944156/
H1 covers the most famous events of the past 100 days: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtGjn6JiRvY
Fox News host calls for US president Donald Trump to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide, and label is not as "unfortunate events", but a "cold blooded murder of 1.5mln people" https://news.am/arm/news/466737.html
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/986ag3/anticorruption_8172018_100th_day_rallys_important/
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