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2018 October 19

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption Oct/19/2018: Mayor down 🔥; 13 companies busted for abusing government licensing 🔥 ; gas price investigation moves forward, salaries invstg 🔥; multiple police officers face consequences for beatings; electoral code reform looks more and more likely to pass (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.

Norashen mayor faces criminal charges for embezzling funds meant for the poor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPRDFehL4ys

The Committee of Economic Competition has launched an investigation against 13 businesses for unfair business practices. They have audited the work of the companies that won licenses to deliver food to government agencies, and discovered that some companies delivered wrong or cheaper products. The companies will receive warnings and penalties up to AMD 15mln. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/951513.html

BHK-formed Parliamentary gas price investigation commission has contacted the Parliament Speaker Babloyan with a request to invite field experts who will investigate the pricing. GazProm Armenia company, which buys gas from GazProm Russia for $150 then sells it to citizens for twice the price, will be questioned indirectly through appropriate channels, in the initial stage. The commission also wants to know the salaries of high ranking officials https://armenpress.am/arm/news/951516.html —— https://news.am/arm/news/476754.html

Voting Commission has found multiple violations by independent candidate Sevak Mikaelyan, son of QP member Sasun Mikaelyan, in his Hrazdan municipality campaign. He was asked to remove placards from the library building and public transportation. Earlier, the QP governor of Kotayk issued a warning to the director of N5 school who allegedly bragged about being able to gather 100 voters for Mikaelyan. The director denies wrongdoing, saying he was speaking as a private citizen and wasn't going to abuse his position http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146629 ----- https://factor.am/92162.html

Police chief Osipyan launches an internal investigation after a teenager reports being beaten in the police station, after he was detained for participating in a street fight. A criminal case is launched by the SIS. https://news.am/arm/news/476720.html

... in other news, the SIS launches a criminal investigation against 3 policemen from Sevan for assaulting a man in the police station https://hetq.am/hy/article/97288

Alaverdi copper mine has suspended its operations due to financial problems. It was earlier discovered that they hid the environmental impact from the local population. The company was told to hold a meeting to present the data to the population. They received an AMD 350mln fine for exceeding the allowed sulfate pollution by 5x http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/146560

... its administration will discuss the closure with the Deputy PM Avinyan on Monday. The company will try to argue in favor of increasing the allowed pollution limits, which was de-facto ignored since the beginning of its times https://news.am/arm/news/476752.html

... the company’s closure is due to its existing financial problems and inability to pay the fees to VTB Bank. The bank plans to seize the assets and take control of the plant. The workers want the government to prevent it. https://factor.am/92069.html

The voting reform discussions are continuing. ARF has voted in favor of the amendments during today’s discussion. The Parliamentary vote is in 3 days. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/951470.html

... All parties have accepted BHK’s amendment that the 4th party will enter Parliament ONLY if it wins at least 2% of the votes. If the 4th largest party wins 2.3% and the 5th one 2.1%, only the 4th one will enter. If the 4th one wins 1.9% and 5th one 1.7%, none will pass. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/951506.html

... the Bonus System, which guarantees at least 1/3 seats for opposition, will continue to work.

1st Deputy PM Mirzoyan is at Venice Commission to seek Electoral Reform’s approval by the body. He argues in favor of the Proportional Representation (parz hamamasnakan, you win a district you win its seat, individual candidates presented to the voters on a list, or chosen by the party) system, which is what Armenia had before it was changed into quasi-proportional on 2017 https://factor.am/92155.html

What is quasi-proportional voting that Mirzoyan is against, and argues that it was manipulated in past? You can lose a district during the elections but still win seats because the votes for the candidate who lost that district can be transferred to another district. I have no idea what kind of shenanigans this is, so read it yourself here: https://ecpr.eu/Events/PaperDetails.aspx?PaperID=6494&EventID=6

... The Venice Commission president has given a positive response to the changes https://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/events/?id=2657

PM Pashinyan is rallying in Syunik in favor of a controversial former high ranking police official for governor, who was earlier incorrectly accused of assaulting political activist Shant Harutyunyan (son denied the assault by him), and whom Pashinyan himself has criticized in past for using a bad language. Vows to fight against narco-traffic coming from the southern border. Says the new governor is the right man for the issues that Syunik faces today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4XXGeXYlI4

FactorTV investigates: The food monopolies in Armenia, how EEU admission affected them, and how the new government is fighting against it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pudYANShep8

Armenia will export 1mln bottles of pomegranate wine to China, after the ambassador to China signs a deal http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/261327

Grand Master Hovhannes Gabuzyab wins the Group B (and $4,000) of the St. Louis Fall Chess tournament https://armenpress.am/arm/news/951433.html

Rudi Giuliani and John Bolton will visit Armenia http://panarmenian.net/m/arm/news/261324

Link to original report: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/9pn6um/anticorruption_oct192018_mayor_down_13_companies/

2018 Daily Armenia Reports
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