2019 November 13

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Anti-Corruption Daily

Anti-Corruption & News - Nov/13/2019 :: Parliament & Important bills _ Mining transparency :: Pashinyan super mad at ARF & BHK _ Gloves off _ Gay topic _ Thieves :: Nature Protection _ Fish _ Trees _ Solar :: Foreign affairs :: Public Council chief vs Pashinyan :: Demographics stats :: Public survey
by ar_david_hh

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.


Nature Ministry will travel to Moldova to learn how they fight against deforestation by producing a distributing fire briquettes to serve as a substitute to illegally logged trees. Armenia plans to implement a similar project soon.

80,000 m3 legally cut trees/branches were recently distributed to public to be used as վառելափայտ։

By 2050 Armenia plans to create 5,000 forestry jobs, plant 800 million trees (put Mr. Beast on suicide watch), 200,000 hectare new green areas. To do this they need to plant 30 million trees each year. They'll examine and pick areas with irrigation system.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/995059.html

https://factor.am/198981.html

As for illegal fishing prevention in Sevan, Ministry says under the existing rules there are no guards on weekends or night, which is when poachers do their work. Ministry plans to close this gap.

There is another loophole that doesn't let the police take action against those who sell fish that is obviously caught illegally (a fish you cannot legally catch, but can sell).

Ministry will soon purchase equipment to accurately assess much fish is present in lake Sevan. If it turns out they underestimated fish reserves, they'll increase legal catching allowances.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/995065.html

ArSun firm has opened the single largest solar panel farm in Armenia. It'll produce 3.4GWh and reduce CO2 emissions by 1,500 tons/year.

For comparison, Metsamor NPP produces 2,250 GWh.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/995111.html

There is an institute called Public Council created in July-2008. It is supposed to discuss topics concerning the public, but it appears some people think it's a waste of resources and is poorly managed.

It is headed by NDU MP Vazgen Manukyan (short: VM), who is a former Prime Minister. Recently, he went on media and criticized Pashinyan (who appoints him). VM said if PM doesn't want to work with him, he (VM) can quit.

This story developed beginning October 27 of this year and ended today.

IND. MP Arman Babajanyan accused VM of ignoring the discussion around October 27th terror attack, and accused VM of having certain direct ties with the terror group's leader Nairi Hunanyan.

He asked PM Pashinyan to fire VM, because being a chief of a non-political institute, he allegedly broke the rules and made anti-Pashinyan and pro-Roboserj remarks on TV on multiple occasions, for example, by saying that Pashinyan is illegally persecuting Robert Kocharyan, during an interview to Roboserj outlet Hayeli. MP Babajanyan accused VM of taking "political handouts" from Kocharyan and Serj for years.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/172695

https://fip.am/9129

VM's wife Varduhi Ishkhanyan fired back and asked NSS to investigate the origins of MP Babajanyan's financial sources, accusing him of being a foreign agent.

She wrote: These duxov (Pashinyan slogan, means "courageous") men are only duxov on paper. They are using this Turkish spy (referring to MP Babajanyan) for the job. Prosecutors should find out how Babajanyan got his house and the media outlet (1in.am). Prosecutors should also find out how Babajanyan and terrorist Nairi Hunanyan worked together at Karen Demirchyan's election campaign, said the wife.

https://factor.am/195134.html

MP Babajanyan responded to VM's wife saying it is not true that he worked together with Nairi Hunanyan. (Hunanyan used to be a journalist and a political activist, briefly as ARF before being fired. Babajanyan at the time was working in Karen Demirchyan's election campaign.)

Babajanyan accused VM and his family of working with Nairi Hunanyan. "Let the authorities find out how many times Nairi Hunanyan visited VM's house."

https://factor.am/195245.html

VM responded: Nairi Hunanyan has never been in our house. I've worked with Hunanyan in 1988. I was Karabakh Committee representative, while Hunanyan was the leader of the student movement. We rejected his petition to join our NDU (AZhM) party.

https://factor.am/195536.html

Prosecutors responded to VM's wife's demand to check Babajanyan's media outlet's origins and him allegedly being a Turkish spy:

We cannot launch a felony case based solely on accusations, if there is no concrete info of a wrongdoing.

Prosecutors invited her to visit a station to give more info about her accusations, but she refused.

https://factor.am/195305.html

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/173211

QP MP Alen Simonyan: I've always said that Public Council is a useless institute. Serj Sargsyan had a habit of closing his critics' mouths by giving them certain positions. Public Council was created for that purpose. You can't name a single serious initiative created and done by the Public Council.

https://factor.am/195091.html

March 1st victim lawyer's brother and anti-Roboserj politician Styopa Safaryan:

Pashinyan earlier went to Public Council and asked VM to organize surveys to find out what Artsakh residents think about the conflict resolution. VM refused to do it, even though it was his job. VM was against Pashinyan's remarks of "Artsakh is Armenia. Period." and publicly criticized it.

Instead, VM used the Council to help the former regime's narrative by discussing only things such as Istanbul Convention, Amulsar, etc.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/172855

QP MP Alen Simonyan: QP held a closed-door meeting to discuss whether to dissolve the Public Council altogether. (based on his wording it appears that Pashinyan was against dissolving it)

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/994105.html

Public Council and VM met their critics to discuss the issues and accusations.

https://factor.am/197472.html

https://factor.am/197475.html

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/173356

A day later, a Public Councilman Babken Pipoyan submitted his resignation papers to Pashinyan, saying that the govt should decide whether it is the Council who gives bad advice, or the govt doesn't want to listen to their advice.

http://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/173441

Few days later (today) Council chief VM submitted his resignation. He strongly criticized the Pashinyan administration for "taking the country to the wrong direction".

He criticized the EU-backed anti-corruption initiative that requires public officials to disclose their finances and give auditors access to accounts, and to have large sums confiscated if the official cannot prove its legal origins.

He criticized the EU/US-backed judicial reforms.

He criticized the education reforms.

Full: https://armtimes.com/hy/article/173731

IND MP Babajanyan welcomed VM's resignation, saying the Public Council should be an independent non-political institute, and that it needs some reforms.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/173760

3 employees at Armavir Penitentiary have been arrested for helping inmates smuggle drugs.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/173698

Armenians, Greeks and Kurds organized protests against Trump-Erdogan meeting outside of White House.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/995124.html

2 more US Senators support a House-style resolution to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Their number is >20.

https://factor.am/199060.html

A bolshevik from Russia's Armavir city municipality board vitalized the Armenian hero Garegin Nzdeh's memorial located near the Armenian church.

Armenian embassy and the church condemned the vandalism, calling it illegal, potentially harmful to ethnic relations, urging the city to take action against the MP.

The MP said the owners failed to re-register the property with the city on time, so he was "doing the job".

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/275017/

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/995085.html

Russian govt-funded TV networks continue to defend Kocharyan and Roboserj politicians, by spreading misinformation.

REN TV had a piece about HHK Justice Minister Hrayr Tovmasyan's embezzlement story.

https://fip.am/9208

MFA Mnatsakanyan: Armenia does not view CSTO military bloc members' weapons sales to Azerbaijan as a "business". It's a weapon that is aimed at our people. It's a sensitive topic.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/995116.html

Talish, Artsakh was damaged during the 2016 April battles.

46 families have since returned. Recently the school resumed its operations. They also have a new medical center, guest hall, sports center, etc.

https://factor.am/198763.html

https://www.facebook.com/tigran.abrahamyan/videos/2629674380431397/

Economy Minister Khachatryan:

We have some obligations to EAEU trade bloc. In 2020 import tariffs will rise for certain products, overall at 0.5%, but it won't affect the public noticeably. 699 product prices will rise.

LHK argued that the public will notice the changes.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/995104.html

QP earlier begun working on obtaining Armenia's own cargo fleet in Black Sea. It is meant to serve as an alternative to Lars land connection between Georgia and Russia, which is often "clogged".

Infrastructure Minister Papikyan says he'll soon travel to Russia to discuss buying 2 ships that are currently docked in Crimea waters and are unused. He thinks he could buy those. Armenian ships would then transport goods between Poti-Novorosiysk. (There is an international law that gives landlocked countries right to have their own sea cargo fleet.)

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/173747

Parliament passed a bill to dissolve the National Water Council and to transfer its duties to Nature Ministry. It's about administrative overhead, efficiency, etc.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/995009.html

Parliament passed 81-1-17 a BHK bill to reform Water User Associations, introduce mechanisms to reduce fraud, increase education requirement for directors, etc.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/995015.html

QP MP Anna Karapetyan introduced a bill aimed towards increasing Parliament's powers by allowing Parliament president to be present at government's (PM's) Security Council meetings.

LHK was against. They wanted party chiefs to also be allowed to be present. QP author argued that it'll be against other laws, and that Constitution gives Parliament chief more authority than to party chiefs. The argument turned nasty with MPs urging each other to calm down.

The bill was rejected because it didn't get 80 votes. 66-14-20.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/173705

Update:

The Parliament passed the govt bill to make mining ownership transparent. It's about paperwork and declarations. 94-0-1. Directors will also be viewed as "owners" and will be required to make public declarations.

This bill also includes reforms for constructions. Building a road, reservoir, tunnel and underground warehouses will be simplified. Govt institutes will be required to handle some cases in a 2-month period.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/995013.html

http://arka.am/en/news/business/armenian_parliament_expands_the_circle_of_persons_who_are_considered_to_be_real_owners_of_mining_ent/

Parliament will soon discuss Pashinyan's bill to criminalize the thieve-in-law culture and to arrest those who admit (or are found) to be part of a criminal group, those who created or solicited others to join such group. Human Rights Ombudsman is working with the bill makers. Similar laws have been passed in Georgia (and I believe Russia too, or they plan to).

BHK chief Tsarukyan says his party will soon hold a meeting to discuss how to vote.

BHK MP and former Gyumri mayor Vardan Ghukasyan isn't fan of the bill. He said some thieve-in-laws can be very respected (including my him) and law abiding, non-offensive, and that arresting them isn't the right thing to do. "Thieve-in-laws can be the smartest people in the world."

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/173715

https://youtu.be/hcnsq2a2zv0

Sometime during these discussion, the BHK MP Ghukasyan allegedly threatened a QP MP Nazeli Baghdasaryan. At least that's how Pashinyan interpreted it.

Pashinyan got mad while speaking in Parliament and threatened to "lay those, who make threats, on the asphalt".

"You'll witness how they're thrown against the walls and slammed on the asphalt", threatened Pashinyan in the event of seeing criminal activities, during the thieve-in-law discussion.

Without giving the name, he accused BHK MP (and former mayor) Ghukasyan of plundering Gyumri city for years.

Pashinyan: we must end the practice of glorifying the thieve culture because it is a catalyst to corruption. It should start from the school, when kids are often pressured not to report a corruption in order not to be "snitches". If this law alone isn't enough to end the culture, we'll implement harsher measures.

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/173750

https://youtu.be/DdnPZd2bElQ

Speaking about gays has become a TRADITION hahahaha, get it?

Anyhow...

BHK MP Ghukasyan, who earlier defended the thieve-in-laws, then went on a homophobic rant, complained about Armenian king Pap being gay, and about gays adopting kids. Says "Europe is on the verge of collapse, they aren't having babies".

(Fun Fact: the self-proclaimed "traditionalist" rule in Armenia has done nothing to improve the demographics so far. Stats show only 1.5 children are born per-women in Yerevan, which is only slightly higher than in Japan, which is in crisis. France has a higher birth rate than Armenia. Armenia's birth rate is similar to EU's birth rate, all without gays mass-adopting kids and making you tranny. Thank you for your concern, traditionalists. Very cool 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏)

https://youtu.be/vUgTLCEBXT4

http://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/275016/

Yesterday the Parliament rejected a BHK bill to ban gay couples from adopting a child. Reason for rejection was that the Constitution already defines family as between a man and a woman.

Today BHK boss Gagik Tsarukyan defended his MP who brought the motion.

Gago doesn't think gay couples can properly raise and discipline a child, and that Armenia, as the first Christian nation, should "preserve its values".

"որպես առաջին քրիստոնյա ազգն ենք, ընտանիք, սրբություն, եկեղեցի, Աստվածաշունչ, մեր համար անընդունելի է, որ համասեռամոլները կարող են երեխա որդեգրել, դաստիարակել, նրանց դաստիարակածն ինչ պիտի լինի"

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/173700

These men must have been raised by gays: NSFW https://youtu.be/grjPRwqoicA

ARF earlier demanded Education Minister Arayik Harutyunyan to resign, citing one of the reasons as giving money to help create a movie about Mel Daluzyan, a triple-European weightlifting champion. ARF was complaining that the athlete later became transgender thus didn't deserve the support.

Pashinyan got mad over this in Parliament: Mel Daluzyan is under my personal protection. I won't let anyone abuse a person who raised the Armenian flag (referring to victories). The constant abuse by the public drove her to the brink of a suicide. As a result, she decided to leave Armenia. I didn't know that the movie was going to be partially financed by govt, but I'm happy that it did. When the person brings us glory we stand and take photos with them, but when they are in a trouble we immediately attack them, that's not good.

Q:

But if more people see the movie, more people will decide to get a gender reassignment treatment. (sigh)

Pashinyan:

It's the same as to say that if we tell the public about a heart surgery, everyone will go get a heart surgery.

The noise around the story is a result of a cheap propaganda by those who lost their access to the corruption-feeding machine. This feeding machine is forever closed for them.

An Armenian citizen should be able to live in his/her country, and that all those who plundered the country for years are the real evil.

I'm proud of the decision made by our Education Ministry.

End of Pashinyan speech. The QP MPs gave a round of applause.

Ձեր տռաձիցիանալ ցավե տանեմ https://armtimes.com/hy/article/173762

Pashinyan about demographics:

More children were born in 2-3Q of 2019 than during the same period of 2018.

Although the increase is small, 18.4k vs 18.2k, it is important to note that in the past 5 years it was sharply declining.

The number of marriages have also increased.

We can say that families are more optimistic after the revolution.

(A baby graph in the article)

https://armtimes.com/hy/article/173729

Informed Citizens NGO did a survey about citizen's trust towards institutions. I've combined Fully/Partially numbers together for simplicity. Here are the trust-distrust percents:

Army: Over 90% trust (sorry numbers aren't visible I'm literally reading it off a screen recorded from a screen)

Prime Minister: 85-14

President: 83-13

NSS: 78-1x

Government office (ministries incl.): 72-25

NGOs: 69%

Parliament: 58-39

Media: 51-45

Political parties in general: 40-51

Judicial: 38-54

https://youtu.be/DZv_wWn-hX4


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/dvytrt/anticorruption_news_nov132019_parliament/


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