2020 December 9

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Daily news and anti-corruption report

Dec/9/2020 wrap-up: \\ border demarcation process \\ criminal reform: rehabilitation over punishment \\ electoral reform: party laws \\ opposition rallies, demands PM's resignation \\ residents denounce their mayors for joining opposition \\ hydro power in Artsakh \\ humanitarian mission \\ more...
by ar_david_hh


Your 13-minute Wednesday report in 3210 words.

Constitutional Court will hear Kocharyan & Co's case

Former president Kocharyan and Co-defendants were charged with toppling the Constitution in 2008 and illegally bringing the army against civilian protesters. Kocharyan was charged with violating Code 300.1.

His lawyers decided to go after the law itself and asked the Constitutional Court to decide if it's constitutional. Today the Court decided to hear that case on March/23/2021.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202549

second judge has ruled in favor of Arthur Vanetsyan

The prosecutors' appeal to have him arrested was turned down. Vanetsyan, the leader of one of the Team-16 opposition parties, was earlier charged with an attempted coup and plot to assassinate Pashinyan [the case of leaked audio].

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037256.html

opposition holds a rally, continues to demand government's resignation

Vazgen Manukyan, the former regime's candidate for Prime Minister, has called for public unity. "Dear compatriots, our movement is gaining momentum. Thousands of bright young people, people concerned about the future of our country are fighting with dignity for our security and dignity... This is not a narrow-interest movement. This is not only a movement for a change of government. This is first and foremost a movement of dignity... We do not want shocks. We need public solidarity."

Full: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202542

Team-16 marched towards the Parliament building where Pashinyan was scheduled to answer questions by MPs. They chanted "Nikol traitor, Nikol resign."

https://youtu.be/pEoeOLuDZVY

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037253.html

The police received a report about a car running over one of the opposition activists. He's receiving medical treatment. The activists shut down the streets. The irritated driver slowly drove towards them and accelerated after the activists began hitting the windows.

"He did the right thing," said one passerby, which caused a confrontation with an opposition activist who said, "will Nikol and his oligarchs pay the compensation; how much did they pay you?"

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037260.html , https://t.me/duxov01/1275

The Team-16 ended its rally in the evening. "Our struggle is not political in nature."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037287.html

bossfight: Marukyan vs Pashinyan

LHK leader Marukyan to Pashinyan: both opposition parties in Parliament, the former presidents, the church leader, mayors of several cities, several education institute boards, and public figures want your resignation. Why do you still say "it's the people who must express their opinion." Don't these figures represent people?

Pashinyan: why don't you and the [Team-16] call for new elections now instead of trying to appoint a temporary puppet Prime Minister now? The goal is to permanently leave people out of the decision-making process.

Why did they nominate a puppet [Vazgen Manukyan] who has no support from the public and has no leverage in the Parliament? Whom will he report to? Of course, to those who appointed him. They plan to restore the practice of election fraud before holding the elections within a year.

90% of them are people who have been calling for my resignation since 2018. Some were doing so privately, while others publicly. Now there is a great opportunity.

They don't want to hold elections now because they know they won't make it. They know that it's possible to use 1,000 [rioters] to invade the Parliament building, carry out an assassination attempt against the Speaker and the MPs.

We're ready to hold dialogue with them if they set aside the language of threats.

LHK leader Marukyan: I don't know about [Team-16] but our party has nominated its own candidate [himself]. We aren't puppets. We will disarm everyone, including your supporters.

Pashinyan: we don't have "armed supporters" and we have the ability to organize fair elections.

Full: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202589

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202615

https://factor.am/319120.html

Aparan & Spitak residents denounce their mayors who called for Pashinyan's resignation

"Mr. Pashinyan, if you resign, you will become our enemy," said a group of supporters in the Aparan region, who held a demonstration against their mayor who had earlier called for PM's resignation.

There were unverified rumors that some officials released such messages under threats by the 16 opposition parties allied to the former regime.

Residents of Ujan settlements prevented their mayor from publishing a similar message. Residents of Shinavan and Hartavan complain that their mayors released a message without first consulting with them.

"This fight is not for Pashinyan, it's for our statehood. These mayors who caved in and began collecting signatures to claim the public wants Pashinyan's resignation, are in reality, expressing their personal opinions and not ours," said one demonstrator. "Those 17 parties don't even gather 1000 people. Let's begin with Gagik Tsarukyan, who claims to be a lion but hides behind a couple of German shepherds."

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202567

residents of Spitak also denounced their mayor for a similar resignation message

Spitak's HHK mayor and 5 out of 13 council members called for PM's resignation yesterday. They encouraged residents to join. "The mayor didn't vote for Pashinyan and didn't ask for our opinion before publishing the message. We decided to organize a demonstration to call for the mayor's resignation. Our mayor is a remnant of the former government," said a demonstrator.

Several residents of Spitak claim HHK mayor Gagik Sahakyan didn't actually want to publish the message about PM's resignation, but he was allegedly pressured by HHK former MP Arkadi Hambardzumyan. "Either you join us or we'll reveal many illegal activities from your past," the former HHK MP told the mayor according to local rumors. The mayor denied being pressured.

Some Spitak residents supported the resignation message. Others organized an online flashmob in support of Pashinhyan.

Full: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202573

... and so did residents of Azatan and Marmashen

Azatan's HHK mayor Ikilikyan had also urged the PM to resign. Some residents aren't happy and say the mayor doesn't represent their views. "I hadn't discussed it with the municipality council before signing it, but I'm sure 90% would agree with me," said the Mayor. One Azatan resident claims 95% of local residents support Pashinyan.

Marmashen's ARF mayor Karen Arshakyan also faced protests by residents over a similar resignation message. He said it wasn't done on behalf of residents because he hadn't met them to discuss it beforehand.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202624

re: church leader Garegin B had asked Pashinyan to resign yesterday

Artist Edward Zorikyan: About the priest who refused to hold a sermon dedicated to 1988 earthquake victims because of Pashinyan's presence... The people believe in God, not the priests. The people have seen the priests, the car underneath them, their castles, their summer houses, and know their mistresses by name.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202533

Pashinyan: I don't see a problem with the representatives of the church expressing their views. There is no tragedy there. They have the right to express their views, while the government and the public have the right to disagree with them.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037279.html

rumors and rebuttals

Masis's HHK mayor denied the claims that he pressured municipality colleagues to join the protests against Pashinyan.

https://youtu.be/sW1-zSpynnw

A week after unconfirmed rumors that NSS was losing agents in-masse, media circulated similar rumors about the police. The police also denied the rumors. "Two workers left overreaching the age limit. Three left after finding a job elsewhere."

[A police official resigned recently and criticized the administration. He Turned out to be HHK ex-MP Hrayr Tovmasyan's relative. Tovmasyan is facing felony charges over alleged embezzlement. HHK hijacked the Constitutional Court in 2018 with the help of Tovmasyan by "accelerating" his appointment as Constitutional Court judge.]

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202539

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202628

cabinet changes

Yerevan's deputy-mayor Virabyan has resigned to serve as a chief producer in the Public Television.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202571

Ararat governor Sargsyan has resigned. He'll take another job within the QP party.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202595

the list of villages and cities that went under Azeri control

... was updated by the Artsakh govt.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ipkvWkKgiePtBVhrWepUuDqWPBcCQDKS/view

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037303.html

the hydro energy production & shortages in Artsakh

Earlier we learned about the project to build a new 5MW thermal power plant for Martuni. What are the energy losses in Artsakh, specifically when it comes to hydro-power plants?

Artsakh official Gabrielyan: 30 out of 36 hydros went under Azeri control. We still have the 50MW powerful Sarsang hydro and 5 smaller ones totaling 25MW (currently operating at 5.5MW capacity).

Those 36 hydros used to produce surplus electricity which was exported to Armenia. Today we face a shortage. Before the war, the electricity price was 49-daytime and 44-nighttime (9 cents) but it was subsidized and the public was paying 25 (5 cents). Now the electricity will be free for a year up to certain usage, after which it will cost 25 again (5 cents).

We're rebuilding a new electric grid coming from Armenia. It's almost done. It'll reduce the load on hydros.

The hydros that went under Azeri control were dismantled first. Most of them are unusable now. They were all privately owned. We're discussing the possibility to issue compensation. We're working with new investors. Anyone who invests 100m gets a 5-year tax waiver.

We're working with colleagues from Armenia 24/7 to rebuild the grid. Martuni faces the biggest electricity shortage right now. The lighting is restored in Stepanakert, Martakert, and Askeran.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202405

army released more details about heroic acts by soldiers

Lt. Grisha Harutyunyan commanded his unit and destroyed 40 enemy soldiers and one tank.

Private Aleksanyan and Grigoryan destroyed two enemy observation points in the south.

Lt. Ghazaryan destroyed two tanks, one armored vehicle, and enemy personnel.

Medics Saghyan and Martirosyan displayed acts of courage while treating comrades.

Full list: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202601

HayEconomBank executive director's vehicle

... was targeted with an explosive device that burned down the car after the chauffeur ignited the car and began driving. The banker wasn't in the war. No reports of injuries. A felony case is launched.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202570

the November 9th statement / is there an "extension"?

LHK MP to Pashinyan: we get reports that our soldiers are encouraged to retreat from some border locations. Is there any extension to the November 9th statement that is being kept secret? Also, is Lachin corridor only humanitarian, or can we transport weapons to Artsakh? [բարև ձեզ․․․ կարողա մի հատել ասես ինչ զենք ես ուզում տեղափեխես ապեր՞]

Pashinyan: No hidden extensions. There is an ongoing border demarcation process which is a laborious task... It's inappropriate to publicly talk about certain details. We can hold closed-door sessions with political parties and we'll provide you with facts and evidence. We need to resist the temptation to discuss everything in public while there are ongoing negotiations.

LHK MP: we support the idea of holding closed-door sessions.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202594

new Armenia-Azerbaijan borders / Lachin

Several regions surrounding Artsakh were given to Azerbaijan. These regions border Armenia's southern Syunik province. New borders are being clarified.

Deputy PM Avinyan: An interdepartmental group is currently working along the entire border. Legal documents are being prepared for the forthcoming talks, which will most likely take place this year through the mediation of Russia.

Currently, there is no legal document that defines borders between Armenia and Azerbaijan. We have prepared every legal document and map related to this topic and will use them in upcoming talks, which will happen in the coming weeks.

We have soldiers south of Tegh village (Lachin). Our permanent military locations, and the borders in general, will be clarified after the negotiations.

QP MP: I understand there could be military secrets and such, but can you give public updates more frequently because often we get various rumors which can induce panic.

Avinyan: we will try to make the work more public. I want to assure you that no land has been conceded on our side of the border. In the end, the legal border should be accepted by both parties as a final document as a result of negotiations.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202582

new Armenia-Azerbaijan borders / Sotq mine / Syunik villages

Ind. MP Tovmasyan: will the 1930 map be used during border negotiations and why are local residents left to defend their villages alone in some locations?

Deputy PM Avinyan: Yes, the 1929 map will be part of the negotiations, along with other documents. As for the Sotq gold mine area, some adjustments were made and both sides took new positions which are more accurate. The mine's administrative building is on the Armenian side. Its operation will be discussed as part of negotiations.

As for villagers, the Armenian and Russian troops participate in border demarcation processes in all locations. Yes, there are thousands of questions that arise during the process because there is no legal border between AM-AZ here yet.

Full: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202586

POWs and search operations

Pashinyan met the families of POWs and missing soldiers again, to brief them on the search operations and the body identification with the help of DNA.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202606

134 more bodies were found in the past three days, near Hadrut, Mataghis, and the road that stretches to Jabrayil. 846 bodies were recovered since November 9th.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202605 , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037284.html

The two Syrian terrorists who were recruited by Azerbaijan and captured alive by Armenians, will not be part of the POW swap. They are not legally considered POWs. They are facing felony charges.

That $2,000 better be worth it: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037226.html

Russia has mediated the return of three Armenian civilian POWs who had serious health problems. They arrived in Armenia today.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037298.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037320.html

Azeri soldiers went to Armenia's Davit Bek village to collect the bodies of deceased Azeri soldiers, under the mediation of the Red Cross.

https://fip.am/14176

budget 2021

GDP is expected to increase by 3.2% in 2021, as opposed to the earlier 4.8% prediction, said Finance Minister Janjughazyan. He spoke about the need to have a plan to continue to attract foreign direct investments, which were as follows:

2017: $222m (1.9% of GDP)

2018: $247m (2%)

2019: $397m (2.9%)

Full: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202575 , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037213.html

Parliament session: reforming laws about political parties / financial transparency

The bill aims to make political party financing transparent, separate parties from businesses, improve internal democracy within parties, promote the participation of women (quotas) and youth. It was introduced in September and place on hold during the war.

LHK leader Marukyan: certain parts of the bill are welcome but that's not enough to hold fair elections. We need to pay attention to how the media operates in Armenia. The media that use public airways should not be allowed to blacklist certain officials and never give them air time. These reforms do not address this problem.

Whoever finds a million dollars from somewhere, opens a party. You open a party, you spend 10% of the money, you get enough votes, you come and become a shareholder of power. These are the reflections of today's political system.

QP leader Makunts: you raise important questions but those should be discussed as part of electoral code reforms, and not the ongoing political party reforms.

For years, the political party system in our country has been characterized as self-centered and non-ideological and parties served one individual. We need to make political party financing transparent. We drafted this bill after holding broad discussions with other political parties and members of civil society.

Ind. MP Babajanyan: when Andranik Margaryan [former HHK leader] died in 2007, Serj Sargsyan and his oligarchs hijacked the party within several weeks. They destroyed the party's ideology and brought the authoritarian regime. These legal reforms should prevent entities from being disguised as political parties.

Full: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202555

https://factor.am/318773.html

https://factor.am/318779.html

https://factor.am/318785.html

Reforms: Criminal Code will transition from punitive to re-socialization policy

Justice Minister Badasyan: We have been waiting for this day for a long time. The Parliament approved (77y-1n-4a) the preliminary draft bill that reforms the Criminal Code. It's about the following...

a) The goal of the punishment will be the re-socialization of the convicted person.

b) The arrest becomes a last-resort option with the introduction of milder sanctions.

c) Procedures for enforcing existing sanctions have been improved. For example, this changes the approach towards public works and issuing of fines.

d) Those under the age of 18 won't be sentenced to life in prison. Their socio-psychological features will be taken into account.

e) It forms the institute of criminal responsibility and punishment of legal entities.

f) The institute of ending the punishment is clarified.

etc. https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202547

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037209.html

anti-corruption stats in 2019

Prosecutors' Office: in 2019 we had 2625 corruption-related felony cases, which is up by 27% year-over-year. 1265 people were charged, up 31%. 287 cases were fully resolved, up 34%.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202565

three settlements will have gas

The following villages are now lit up: Aknashen, Hayaragh, and Musaler (/u/musaler

come out of your hiding and give your favorite uncle Nikol some credit now).

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202627

meeting between MFAs of Armenia and France

Armenian MFA: The right to self-determination has been one of the pillars of the negotiation process and no military force can remove it from the agenda. There were ethnic cleansings and war crimes in every region that went under Azeri control.

Only in case of recognition of Artsakh's right to self-determination is it possible to achieve long-lasting peace.

Turkey is responsible for Azerbaijan's policy of exterminating the Armenian people in its historic homeland

Full: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202537 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202610

Deputy PM Avinyan met French ambassador Jonathan to discuss humanitarian issues.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202578

Russian humanitarian envoy in Artsakh

... treated 39 more local patients. 60 doctors installed additional medical locations in Stepanakert, Khojalu, and Lachin.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037202.html

George Soros will donate items of basic necessity

... to 1,700 Artsakh refugee children residing in Armenia.

https://factor.am/319132.html

Russia gets picky on tomatoes and apples

Russia will ban the import of tomatoes and apples from Azerbaijan effective tomorrow over frequent pest infection detections. Tomatoes from Armenia's Armavir province also fell under the ban.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202545 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202560

Europe would like to know your location

The EU will freeze your assets and ban your entry if you're a dictator who commits serious human rights violations and if every EU member-state approves the sanctions against you.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202530

Canadian Senate rejects the pro-Armenian resolution

... which would officially recognize the Republic of Artsakh and place a weapons embargo on Turkey and Azerbaijan. Senator Leo Housakos said he was disappointed with PM Trudeau's "siding with dictators".

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037232.html

Netherlands Parliament approves pro-Armenian resolution

... that urges its government to take an active role in clarifying Artsakh's legal status and establishing permanent safety for residents.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037281.html

Japanese analyst's article on Yomiuri:

Israel opened an intelligence service branch in Baku, which took an active role in providing intelligence to the Azerbaijanis in the war against the Armenians of Artsakh. The Israelis' calculation is simple: obtain intelligence, including for themselves, and gain access to the Caspian Sea's energy resources.

Full: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037167.html

COVID stats

+3306 tested. +1138 infected. +1385 healed. +21 deaths. 20540 active.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202546

Matenadaran entry will be free

... for Aartsakh refugees residing in Armenia. "We look forward to your visit," said the book geeks.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202603

11 construction companies are operating in Artsakh

... to rebuild the damaged houses. Some of them are funded by charity funds like "Tufenkyan".

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1037246.html

half of Stepanakert has been cleared of mines

...15,000 objects were neutralized. Artsakh's Emergency Ministry neutralized a Smerch missile in Martakert.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202563

https://factor.am/318846.html

humanitarian aid

HimnaDram.org has transferred $1.1 million to 1000plus.am to help fund soldiers' rehabilitation process.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202550

Poland has donated wheelchairs.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202557

you can donate to Artsakh & Armenia

www.1000plus.am (soldiers' medical help)

www.HimnaDram.org (for Artsakh & Armenia)

www.ArmeniaFund.org (U.S. tax-deductible)

archive of older posts

Yesterday: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/k8rgbe/dec572020_wrapup_kapan_airport_pashinyan_speech/?

Armeniapedia's archive of daily news threads:

http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/Daily_Anti-Corruption_Reports

disclaimer

All the accused are considered innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "sound" guilty.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/ka2wqu/dec92020_wrapup_border_demarcation_process/

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