2020 April 1
- 1 Anti-Corruption Daily
- 2 Artsakh elections / who made it into Parliament / Presidental
- 3 Who is the frontrunner and future president Arayik Harutyunyan?
- 4 prosecutors bust Yerevan City's and Ministries' property bolola
- 5 Gazprom wants to raise prices for poor, lower for small consumers / overall 11% rise
- 6 CSTO about the border shootout
- 7 opera singer dies from pneumonia
- 8 COVID stats
- 9 how will the new COVID tracking work?
- 10 road blocks intensify / no traffic / transport shut
- 11 COVID donations / laptops / cash
- 12 tribute to doctors on the frontline
- 13 clip about disinfecting
- 14 internet usage spikes
- 15 Serena Williams tries Armenian cognac
- 16 Support David's Daily Armenia News Summaries!
Apr/1/2020 -- Daily News Summary -- Election results, who are the candidates? /// Prosecutors bust former officials /// Gas prices /// Coronavirus stats /// CSTO's response /// Stay up to date on Anti-Corruption, COVID, Economy, Politics, Daily Life, and more...
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.
Artsakh elections / who made it into Parliament / Presidental
Elections ended yesterday with a 73% turnout. No one crossed the 50% mark. There will be a 2nd round on April 14th.
Frontrunner Arayik Harutyunyan 49.2% (advances)
"George Soros" Masis Mayilyan 26.4% (advances)
"Roboserj" Vitaliy Balasanyan 14.7% (out)
ARF David Ishkhanyan 2.5% (out)
The following parties and alliances crossed the 5%/7% threshold to enter Parliament:
Frontrunner Arayik Harutyunyan's alliance: 40.4% with 16 seats.
"Pro-Russia" Samvel Babayan's party: 23.6% with 9 seats. He endorsed Masis Mayilyan for presidency.
ARF party: 6.4% with 3 seats.
"Roboserj" Vitaliy Balasanyan's party: 7.9% with 3 seats.
Former Parliament chief Ashot Ghulyan's party: 5.8% with 2 seats.
The winning party didn't get enough seats to form a majority, so they'll have to form a coalition. Party leader Arayik Harutyunyan said he sees no problem with an alliance as long as the potential ally has a similar agenda.
Source links below. any election violations?
NGO monitor: 700 people, mostly elderly, voted outside of booths. Instances of voters being pressured. Instances of frontrunner's allies busing-in voters. Instances of unknown people hanging out near or inside voting stations. Instances of police not dispersing the crowds. Instances of election officials not taking action upon finding a violation such as a person taking a photo of her ballot. Instances of small violations due to not knowing the rules. There were videos of top-two candidates' allies fighting one another.
Armenian MPs serving as monitors: overall, the elections were successful. The results reflect the voters' will. We saw gatherings outside of stations but mostly it was related to precautionary measures caused by COVID. People spend time wearing gloves and masks before entering the station. We'll make suggestions before the 2nd round begins.
Who is the frontrunner and future president Arayik Harutyunyan?
He is the former Prime Minister of Artsakh who served under Bako Sahakyan. His opponents call him "Bako's friend". He is more or less independent.
Arayik has a record of publicly siding with Pashinyan against Serj circles when it comes to Artsakh foreign policy handling, and criticism to Serj's prior plans.
In 2019, Kocharyan accused Arayik of kissing Pashinyan's back and being his potential puppet.
During a 2019 press conference, Arayik said that those who question Pashinyan's foreign policy and call it a conspiracy to sell lands to Azerbaijan, are themselves the real conspirators. "If you make such baseless accusations, you're only stoking divide within the public. It's treacherous. You're helping Azerbaijan by doing so", said Harutyunyan, as a rebuke to some Roboserj circles.
During today's de-facto post-victory press conference, Arayik reiterated that he has no disagreement with Armenian govt's foreign policy around Artsakh, and that "Artsakh is Armenia. Period. We will cooperate with any political group in Artsakh who agrees with this. I want unity in Artsakh."
prosecutors bust Yerevan City's and Ministries' property bolola
Prosecutor's' memo says:
Recently, PM and Yerevan mayor sent docs to investigate residential bloc construction in Yerevan.
On Mar/2/2008 a former Yerevan mayor authorized a Firm to design 5 buildings. On Apr/27/2018 the Mayor (Taron Margaryan) authorized the construction itself, after receiving approval from various inspectors and Ministries.
Residents began buying a property in these buildings, unbeknownst to future problems they'd face.
Post-revolution, the buildings were audited and found to be way too close to surrounding buildings, in violation of the law.
That means the designer, the Nature Ministry, the Emergency Ministry, and anyone who authorized the building, had violated the law. Yerevan municipality employees also ignored the obvious violations and gave the green light to the construction.
A felony case is launched. The Investigative Committee will instigate, while the shipyard produces ships.
Gazprom wants to raise prices for poor, lower for small consumers / overall 11% rise
Gazprom-Armenia contacted the Public Services Regulator and asked for permission to raise prices by 36% beginning July 1st, for those who receive poverty aid. The poor currently get a discount [on limited quantity gas] and pay 100k Drams per 1000m3. Gazprom wants 136k.
Those who consume <10,000 m3 gas per month would pay 136k instead of 139k, a small decline.
They want an overall 11% rise in prices.
This comes shortly after Armenian govt asked Russia to lower gas prices at the border due to global price drop and COVID's impact on the Armenian economy.
Gazprom handles the gas at the border, while its subsidiary Gazprom-Armenia manages it within Armenia. It is Gazprom-Armenia that wants to raise the prices, not the [border] Gazprom.
A Russian analyst doubt that Gazprom will be able to provide border discounts, for now.
CSTO about the border shootout
CSTO military bloc chief expressed concerns about Monday's border shootout between Armenian and Azeri troops which left an Armenian teen and two soldiers wounded. "The UN has urged all military actions to stop across the world due to COVID. I believe Armenia has already agreed. This escalation happened while the whole world is uniting to fight COVID," said chief Zas.
opera singer dies from pneumonia
A 50yo opera singer Anna Sardaryan has died from two-way pneumonia in her home. People who saw her 2 weeks ago didn't know she had health issues. The postmortem examination was "inconclusive" whether COVID played a role or not.
2704 tested negative. 571 all-time infected. 536 currently infected. 31 healed. 4 deaths. The 4th victim was an 89yo patient with 2 chronic illnesses.
how will the new COVID tracking work?
Yesterday the govt passed a bill to attach the ISP data about phone calls/location to COVID data to better find COVID circles. It was criticized by civil liberty groups because it gave the govt [temporary] access to phone metadata [but not SMS/call content].
Justice Minister Badasyan says:
old method: person is diagnosed with COVID. It takes a few days to manually identify and contact his social circle.
new method: person is diagnosed with COVID. His name is automatically added to the new database. The database already knows who he contacted. The database immediately presents a group of people at risk. The police or Ministry messages these people and asks them to self-isolate ASAP.
This reduces the response time and prevents possibly-infected circles of infecting others. The goal is to have infectibility score of 1.0, in other words, 1 infected person infects only 1 other person. This will make the spread manageable. This is needed to prevent hospital overload. The system is not 100% accurate, but it's good enough to slow the spread.
We tested several prison inmates. All came negative. We don't have the same prison overcrowding issue as in other countries, so there is no need to release inmates en masse to protect them from COVID.
road blocks intensify / no traffic / transport shut
Emergency coordinator 1st deputy PM Tigran Avinyan issued a new order to shelter in place and not to change the residence without permission. The police and NSS will patrol the streets and stop the cars for checks.
Public transport, except taxis and yertughayin, is suspended until April 12th.
No one leaves the province they reside in. Work trips are permitted.
Personal cars are still allowed as long as it's for the members of the same family or workplace.
To attend work, you must fill out a paper issued by the employer. This is in addition to the paper required for leaving home for shopping.
Yerevan Metro is completely suspended for the first time in 39 years.
Glory to Arstotzka.
Work paper: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/184521
Video of police checking and turning away cars without proper paperwork:
COVID donations / laptops / cash
90% of kids in Shirak province have enrolled in remote education. Some of them have internet but don't have PCs, others vice versa.
Shirak FC soccer club has donated 150 laptops to kids.
Healthcare Ministry's COVID charity hotline has received 823mln from 3100 donors so far.
tribute to doctors on the frontline
Pashinyan shared a short clip featuring the doctors fighting COVID
clip about disinfecting
A video featuring people who disinfect public transport
internet usage spikes
Following the Emergency declaration, Veon's network saw a +24% cable traffic. +4% phone internet.
BeeTV subscription +20%.
VivaCell is still calculating.
Serena Williams tries Armenian cognac
Is it brandy or cognac? (sorts comment section by Controversial)
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/ft6tkq/apr12020_daily_news_summary_election_results_who/
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