“Azg” regrets that President Robert Kocharian did not take part in this year’s World Economic Forum, saying that it was a unique opportunity to drum up foreign investment into Armenia. At least Kocharian should have sent his prime minister or one of the cabinet members dealing with the economy, but not Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian.
“Already some government officials are laughing at the hopes to make the government more transparent through the mandatory disclosure of [its members’] incomes,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” The paper believes that the law on financial disclosure will in no way reduce corruption and boost the rule of law. Instead, it will be used by the regime for collecting discrediting material about top civil servants and thereby ensuring their loyalty.
“Aravot” similarly thinks that income declarations by senior government officials is “a meaningless undertaking devoid of any practical goals because mechanisms for holding officials in check are absent.” The paper is convinced that they are not going to disclose their expensive real properties.
“Golos Armenii” says the authorities should at least try to levy property tax from those villas. The paper claims that this would bring tens of millions of dollars in additional revenues to the state budget.
In an interview with “Aravot,” the wife of opposition leader Vazgen Manukian, Vartuhi, complains about increasing “hatred and poison” permeating Armenian politics. She also says politicians are even more ambitious these days. “Everybody now thinks that he too can become a minister, prime minister, president,” she says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that Vladimir Darpinian has not delivered on his pledge to resign as first secretary of the Armenian Communist Party by Friday, angering his opponents inside the party. The rebel Communists are rallying around one of the party’s young leaders, Sanatruk Sahakian. The latter, however, says, in public, that he is against Darpinian’s resignation.
Vahan Hovannisian, chairman of the parliament committee on defense and security, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that Armenian concerns over the rapprochement between Russia and Azerbaijan, which followed President Aliev’s talks in Moscow, are “not completely groundless.” But he adds that “one should not draw final conclusions from a single visit, no matter how successful it seems to be.” So there is “no need to panic,” according to him. Hovannisian is at the same time unhappy that Russia is “somewhat passive” in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process.