2021 June 6
- 1 Daily news wrap-up
- 2 MOD about preventing Azeris from fortifying their positions within Armenia:
- 3 MOD about Azeris opening fire towards a shepherd:
- 4 Red Cross visits the six Armenian soldiers captured on May 27
- 5 Pashinyan accuses wartime army Chief of General Staff of delaying Shushi aid by 2 days
- 6 Pashinyan about sending his wife Anna Hakobyan to Stepanakert while it was being bombed:
- 7 Karabakh's exclusion from negotiation table / Pashinyan accuses Kocharyan of wasting the post-90s victory potential
- 8 Pashinyan about Kocharyan's 1999 Meghri Corridor negotiations and Shushi region
- 9 Polls: whom would you vote for if elections were today?
- 10 Polls: rural vs urban
- 11 Polls: do you plan to vote?
- 12 Polls: how is the economy doing?
- 13 Polls: your family's financial status?
- 14 Polls: Armenia's top issues right now?
- 15 Polls: how should Armenia respond to 6 POW soldiers and 1 death on the border?
- 16 Polls: each public office's approval rating
- 17 when will be next MPG (Armenia's "Gallup") survey?
- 18 LHK urges citizens to cast their votes
- 19 Pashinyan about foreign influence in Armenian elections:
- 20 Serj-Vanetsyan party publishes the campaign program:
- 21 Kocharyan-ARF alliance presented their campaign program:
- 22 Pashinyan about liberating business field for open competition:
- 23 Pashinyan traveled through Abovyan streets (Tsarukyan stronghold)
- 24 Kocharyan-ARF alliance filed a complaint with the police
- 25 elections observer about bribery and abuse reports / Vanadzor mayor's nighttime visit to the campaign office
- 26 Pashinyan's pro-democracy and anti-former-regime message to citizens:
- 27 authorities to press felony charges against cops over excessive use of force
- 28 United States donates $1 million to low-income Artsakh IDPs residing in Armenia
- 29 COVID stats this weekend
- 30 Armenia loses the friendly soccer match against Sweden
- 31 photos: the new Yerevan buses
- 32 The Future Armenian
- 33 Армянская Антарктида - озеро Арпи
- 34 Friday report in Russian
- 35 end of report
- 36 Support David's Daily Armenia News Summaries!
Daily news wrap-up
Weekend news - Jun/6/2021: (1) Any voter bribery reports yet? (2) Pashinyan: Onik will answer for delaying military aid to Shushi (3) Azeri fortifications stopped, shots fired (4) Anna's Stepanakert trip (5) Parties present plans (5) Pashinyan about Meghri Corridor and negotiations (6) Polls
This is your 14-minute weekend report in 3416 words.
MOD about preventing Azeris from fortifying their positions within Armenia:
Lately, Azeris made multiple attempts to fortify their positions on the border, within Armenia. Our army took countermeasures to stop them.
More specifically, on June 3rd they attempted to use a tractor to do land work. We fired warning shots. The construction stopped. A clear demand was made not to repeat it.
The Azeri side is currently doing construction work within their territories, without crossing the border. These Azeri positions are visible from Gegharkunik's Verin Shorja and were reported earlier in Human Rights Ombudsman's report.
MOD about Azeris opening fire towards a shepherd:
An incident was recorded on June 6. Kut village [Gegharkunik] shepherd's herd were grazing near the village lands. Some of the animals drifted towards the Azeri soldiers. When the shepherd went close to get them back, the Azeris opened fire towards him. [The bullet struck his horse.]
Armenian soldiers arrived near the scene. Azeris opened fire again. Armenians took countermeasures and the shooting stopped. Most of the animals were returned. No one was injured.
[The Army denied social media rumors about wounded and captured soldiers in Vardenis direction.]
Red Cross visits the six Armenian soldiers captured on May 27
They established communication with family members.
Pashinyan accuses wartime army Chief of General Staff of delaying Shushi aid by 2 days
Pashinyan: Onik Gasparyan will answer for the late arrival of Shushi reinforcements. There was a 1.5-2 day delay.
You may ask why I appointed Gasparyan to that position. It's simple: I couldn't go bring a general from abroad. I had to pick from ours. Before appointing CoGS in 2018, and 2020, I consulted with field experts and they gave me two names who were ready for the task. I appointed those two. I did not pick from thin air.
Today, these people are making certain statements. The man whom I gave the title of Col.Gen., is backing away from what he said in the presence of 10 people. He is yet to explain in court why the military aid headed for Shushi was delayed by 1.5-2 days.
If any of my political opponents think I won't speak about the war episodes, they are mistaken. Every detail of war must be revealed. Those rats have ganged up with the hope to take power and resolve their problems. But do not be fooled. They are scared as a dog. They are free because Armenia still does not have a mature judicial system and I don't want to have my personal judicial system. //
Onik Gasparyan said he isn't afraid of a war investigation and has "nothing to hide". "There will be an objective investigation after the change of government."
Pashinyan about sending his wife Anna Hakobyan to Stepanakert while it was being bombed:
A video was circulated during the war allegedly showing a large number of cars leaving the capital Stepanakert. I asked my wife to travel there [to serve as an example that there is also a reverse flow].
My wife visited the city under bombardment. I should have sent her to the Canary Islands instead, right? They [opponents] made "nice" videos about it. Lots of conspiracy theories are circulating. One idiot claims Anna installed spy trackers on Armenian units so the enemy could locate and strike with precision. Imagine there are some who consider this plausible.
After Stepanakert, I gave a speech about the nation standing up for a new Sardarapat battle. Anna Hakobyan formed a female volunteer squad. They went to Sisian for training before being deployed to Goris trenches. What is bad about this, and where is the treason? Was she supposed to stay in a beauty salon? They wrote every nasty thing possible about my family. Those are their values; that's how they treat families.
The NSS will publish on Monday the report about catching actual traitors who helped Azeris in Hadrut. //
Karabakh's exclusion from negotiation table / Pashinyan accuses Kocharyan of wasting the post-90s victory potential
Pashinyan: by excluding Karabakh from the negotiations table in 1998, Kocharyan destroyed the whole political results of the 90s war victory. The most important diplomatic victory was Karabakh being a co-signator of the 1994 May 12 ceasefire document. Karabakh became an international legal subject because it signed a document with two recognized republics.
In 2009, the French co-chair of OSCE Minsk Group said that Karabakh was excluded by the decision of the Armenian side.
Here is what Kocharyan said during his 2004 interview to Golos Armenii: "there is an impression that Armenia is ready for any resolution but the problem is Karabakh government. The question is, can't Armenia pressure its dependent Karabakh to accept decisions? I suggested changing that view and trying to use Armenia's resources to develop its own position and approaches to the settlement of the issue. In other words, instead of us agreeing to any resolution accepted by Karabakh, we [Armenia] will have our own stance and we are ready to promote it. I did exactly that after being elected."
Karabakh was left out of the negotiation process by the personal decision of Robert Kocharyan. //
Pashinyan about Kocharyan's 1999 Meghri Corridor negotiations and Shushi region
Read about Meghri Corridor document on June/2/2021 report.
Pashinyan: Nothing that's discussed at the negotiation table is lost, it becomes negotiating content, which returns at a later stage. In 1999 they introduced the idea to give away Meghri in exchange for Nagorno-Karabakh. A document was introduced.
Meghri Corridor wasn't just a verbal thing. There was a document to resolve the conflict. That means expert groups sat down for weeks or months and worked on every detail, every comma, every word.
Here is a quote from the document: Nagorno Karabakh Autonomous Oblast area, Shushi region, and Lachin region (per 1988 borders) join Armenia. Meghri region joins Azerbaijan. Armenia withdraws troops from [Karabakh regions] Aghdam, Fizuli, Jabrayil, Kubatlu, Shahumyan, Kelbajar, Zangelan, and Ghazakh within 60 days. The Armenian population from Meghri and the aforementioned Karabakh regions would be relocated to other parts of Armenia within 60 days.
Kocharyan summoned a Security Council meeting and informed Vazgen Sargsyan and Karen Demirchyan about this. After this, Vazgen visited Meghri and announced "Meghri is not just a piece of the homeland. Meghri opens the world for us. Meghri will explode in the center of Yerevan."
In other words, not only did Vazgen Sargsyan acknowledge the Meghri issue, but he also threatened that Meghri would explode in Yerevan. And Meghri "explodes" in Yerevan with a slightly different logic on October 27, when a former ARF member Nairi Hunanyan enters Parliament and kills Vazgen, Demirchyan, and others, with the two being the main targets.
Due to resistance, this option underwent changes and was eventually rejected. Essentially, Vazgen and Demirchyan saved Meghri at the cost of their lives.
Note that the Shushi region was listed separately from Karabakh and had the same status as the Lachin corridor. Nothing is forgotten in the negotiation process. The question of Shushi has always existed. This is an evidence.
Our administration has not, is not, and will not discuss any Meghri Corridor. //
Polls: whom would you vote for if elections were today?
(By MPG/Gallup International on 31 May - 4 June. 1,100 phone calls.)
(Refused to answer 13.4%)
(Difficult to answer 9.1%)
Edmon Marukyan 2.9%
Aram Sargsyan (Vazgen) 2.1%
Pollster: we expect a more clear picture in the next two polls which will reflect post-campaign movements.
Polls: rural vs urban
Pashinyan and Tsarukyan are strong in provinces and weaker in the capital.
Kocharyan and Marukyan are the opposite.
Polls: do you plan to vote?
67% yes, 33% no
Pollster: important to note that only 55% said "definitely", which is historically the more accurate metric that reflects the real outcome.
Polls: how is the economy doing?
5.6% good, 26.5% average, 66.9% bad.
Polls: your family's financial status?
13.9% good, 62% average, 23.9 bad
Polls: Armenia's top issues right now?
25.8% need for border demarcation
16.3% economic stability
8.8% social issues
8% army reforms
3.7% political fights
Polls: how should Armenia respond to 6 POW soldiers and 1 death on the border?
23% capture Azeri soldiers
21.2% contact international bodies for intervention
14% contact Russia so they can negotiate with Azerbaijan
6% negotiate directly with Azerbaijan
8.2% difficulty answering
Polls: each public office's approval rating
26.7% president Sarkissian
24.8% government in general
(disapproval numbers were not provided during the press release)
when will be next MPG (Armenia's "Gallup") survey?
Every Friday, two more times. MPG and IRI are the two major pollsters in Armenia. IRI's polls are a month old.
LHK urges citizens to cast their votes
Edmon Marukyan: the results can be unpredictable due to undecided voters. People have different views after the war. Our conversations with people show that our party offers what people want. It's another question of whether people will turn out and vote. Some 40% are undecided. They can create a storm. LHK could very well win the elections. Did anyone predict that 2018 would end with revolution? No. Revolutions can be made in polling stations, too. Don't close the streets or insult each other. People are tired of revengeful rhetoric and empty promises.
The internal tensions are high. There could be clashes. Neither of the two leading forces will win according to polls. The only party without enemies is LHK. We will force internal peace if we win. //
Pashinyan about foreign influence in Armenian elections:
It's strange that just 2 days after my announcement about the new elections, we witnessed the Syunik and Gegharkunik events [Azeri intrusion]. I'm not a fan of conspiracies, I try not to, but some facts are strange. It's obvious that there are external forces that want to "write" the election results. It's a dangerous situation. Stay vigilant and strong.
Serj-Vanetsyan party publishes the campaign program:
Main topics: Rule of law and effective governance, security and foreign policy, economy, social field, education and science, culture, healthcare, youth & sport, nature protection. "Our Homeland is going through the most difficult, crucial period of its recent history. Unfortunately, all our predictions and warnings regarding the destructive activities of these authorities came true."
https://factor.am/379072.html Pashinyan's party publishes their campaign program:
Main topics: Security and foreign policy, economy, human capital development, law and justice, institutional development, nature protection.
Kocharyan-ARF alliance presented their campaign program:
Kocharyan: We have published a program and introduced almost all our members. We have the knowledge, we have management skills, we have proven it not long ago. We are ready to take responsibility now in this difficult time.
The main concerns are borders and citizens' security. It's not even safe in Yerevan. Worsened economy, poverty, migration. The current govt cannot solve these problems because they created them.
Pashinyan about liberating business field for open competition:
The war changed the context of everything but I think it's worth noting that the post-2018 reforms created heaven for businesses. No monopolies, no IRS abuse.
We made tax reforms and reduced the profit tax to 18%. It's showing its effectiveness today: 85,000 more registered jobs. Armenia set a historical record. The pace is picking up again after the war.
Yet we collect more taxes with lower tax rates. The average salary has increased.
By 2018 the govt owed $522 million to businesses. We neared it to zero within 3 years. ["economic injection through refunds for business"]
The next reform is the property tax system.
Pashinyan traveled through Abovyan streets (Tsarukyan stronghold)
He greeted residents on sidewalks and apologized for "all mistakes and shortcoming."
Kocharyan-ARF alliance filed a complaint with the police
... after their campaign posters were ripped in two villages. They accused pro-government activists.
elections observer about bribery and abuse reports / Vanadzor mayor's nighttime visit to the campaign office
Who are you and why should we trust you?
The Informed Citizens NGO has been active since 2016 and we have a record of speaking about violations by opposition and government.
Any abuse by the ruling party during this campaign?
They recently published a promotional video comparing 2016-2018 arms purchases with 2018-2020 purchases to show they "did better". This was a violation of administrative resource use because they "declassified" information to benefit them.
How else could they promote their work in that case?
Certainly not by taking advantage of a tool that's not accessible to opponents. There could be other instances.
Any other types of abuse?
We are receiving reports of much more serious violations, for example, bribery and forcing voters to reveal whom they will vote for. The lion's share of complaints is about Armenia Alliance [Kocharyan+ARF] and some about Pativ Unem [Serj]. The reports come from various provinces [Kocharyan alliance denied offering bribes and said it could be people trying to give them a bad name.]
What is the bribery complaint mostly about?
A straightforward bribe or a promise to register voters as fake employees at a company or electoral office to pay them salaries [bribe] without them actually working.
But what if the employer agrees for them to become a worker and get paid without working? [the dumbest question of 2021, congratulations]
Sure they could agree.
A why is it a bribe then?
Because the employer expects a vote in exchange for that.
How do you prove such bribery?
Latent crimes are difficult to uncover, it's not our duty as an observer, we just say what we see.
Who was offering the alleged bribes?
Different names, familiar to the public. Medium-scale figures. I won't publish names. We gave the info to the police. If they can act on it then they will publish it, if not, we will publish the information.
It's mostly associated with [Kocharyan] Alliance. The reports came from Syunik, Yerevan, Armavir, and Lori. So far the reports have been about bribe promises and not actual bribe distribution.
Who is involved? Former governors, mayors, street figures?
Not only former but also current mayors of villages and towns. For example, last night at 23:41 am, with the [voter] lists in their hands, the mayor of Vanadzor [HHK Mamikon Aslanyan] and other municipal officials entered the Kocharyan's campaign office.
So what? Maybe he wanted to visit the office as a private citizen after work?
That's why I say we aren't the police. Our job is to reveal such incidents. Let the public decide what the Vanadzor mayor was doing in the electoral office at night with the lists in his hand.
In the past you complained that the police wouldn't investigate. Are you sure that the same regional police departments will investigate the claims today? There are still friendly and familial ties with local police forces and officials.
Of course, I'm not confident if the police will act. This is why we pass around the info to the federal-level police departments instead of smaller local ones. There are departments that we do trust.
This is the first election in which the opposition has more resources financially and when it comes to influencing mayors. Hundreds of village/town mayors called for Pashinyan's resignation after the war. Is there confidence they won't abuse their resources now?
The voter should be cold-headed and make a calm decision without feeling pressured.
How does the bribe giver know whom the voter ended up voting for?
Take out the uncasted ballots and show us. [Each voter is given 26 ballots, only one is cast.] Sometimes the promise is if you take out a specific party's ballot to prove you did not vote for them, you will receive a bribe. We will inform the public how to lie to bribe-givers who attempt to monitor them.
Are voters allowed to smuggle out the uncasted ballots?
It's not clearly stated in the law. There is a ban but it depends on your intent. If you disclose your voting record to personally benefit yourself for a specific purpose, it's a felony crime.
So how could voters lie to bribe-givers?
The voting booth will have a box with many ballots. The voter can take any combination of ballots and take it out with them. [poison the combination]
You can cast the Party-B ballot with your envelope, take out a blank Party-B ballot, and lie to the bribe-giver that you did not vote for Party-B. We will launch a public awareness campaign soon.
You used to complain about fake observers whose job was to guide the voters and confirm that someone appeared for voting, so they can get their bribe. Any such threat today?
Some groups have expressed interest in becoming observers. Naira Zohrabyan recently gave a press conference about it but they did not reveal their operational methodology.
First. The existence of methodology is one of the main differentiators between real and fake observers. Real observers have plans on how to handle judicial, electoral commission, etc.
Second. Fake observers do not disclose their financial sources. They often claim "we don't need financing" but then you see them use luxurious buses and staff.
Third. Fake observers do not publish the post-election report. Our NGO published a thick book with meticulous details about the quantities and qualities of events. Is the polling area big enough? Should we provide advice? It's a serious comprehensive report with details. For example, The observing group lead by Arpine Hovhannisyan in Karabakh did not prepare a report and kept their financial sources secret.
Fourth. Observers should report violations made by all political parties.
Pashinyan's pro-democracy and anti-former-regime message to citizens:
Do not give up and have no doubts. They try to convince you that you were wrong about being able to be the decision-maker in your own country. They try to convince you that the time proved you wrong and that you either have to be a servant in your country or lose your country.
And I appeal to you with the conviction that the truth is the opposite. For many years we tolerated many things for the sake of the homeland, and as a result, it turned out we were tolerating the destruction of the homeland.
By the time you stopped tolerating, the homeland was looking like a car that was falling off the cliff, which we were trying to control without a wheel, tires, and brakes. We stopped the fall at a great cost: many deaths, pain, chaos.
Now you face a choice: obey the time or make the time obey you. Choose the latter.
Cops recently arrested the Shurnukh village mayor's brother. The Investigative Committee found their use of force excessive and will press felony abuse of power charges. The man was carried away on his knees.
United States donates $1 million to low-income Artsakh IDPs residing in Armenia
The USAID will transfer the funds through a UN program.
COVID stats this weekend
5,970 tested. 130 infected. 304 healed. 6 deaths. 3,268 active.
Armenia loses the friendly soccer match against Sweden
3:1. The Armenian goalkeeper saved an 11-meter penalty shot. Armenia's goal was scored by Vahan Bichakhchyan; this was his first.
Armenia recently played 1:1 with the world championship runner-up Croatia. The next match is in September.
photos: the new Yerevan buses
Mayor Marutyan shared photos from the but interior taken by the manufacturing crews. The 211 new buses will arrive later this year. The manufacturer is currently working on custom branding and other details.
The Future Armenian
A month ago we learned that a group of prominent Armenians created a project THE FUTURE ARMENIAN with 15 goals. Among the co-founders are Richard Azarnia, Arthur Alaverdyan, Nubar Afeyan, and Ruben Vardanyan.
Over 10,000 people have joined the initiative from Armenia and the diaspora. They will be invited to forums to decide how to reach those 15 goals for Armenia.
Армянская Антарктида - озеро Арпи
Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin travels through Armenia. North-western lake Arpi.
[I posted the wrong link]
Friday report in Russian
Translated by /u/Impossible-Ad-
end of report
The accused are innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "appear" guilty.
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/nu5gzu/weekend_news_jun62021_1_any_voter_bribery_reports/
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