“Aravot” says that a joint statement by Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine condemning the upcoming presidential election in Nagorno-Karabakh must be “cause for serious thought” in Armenia. “We need to think, analyze and understand why [three of] those countries friendly to Armenia ignore unwritten rules of international etiquette and do not maintain at least a seeming neutrality in this case, something which they do in the case of, say, Taiwan or Kosovo,” writes the paper.
“Zhamanak Yerevan” reports that the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) decided on Wednesday to postpone until October its planned congress that had been scheduled for July 14. HHK spokesman Eduard Sharmazanov is quoted as saying that the party needs more time for a “thorough” review of issues facing it. “The congress to be held in October the HHK will confirm Serzh Sarkisian’s candidacy in the presidential election and elect a new board of the party,” he says.
“The scale of corruption in our country is now such that it not just affects but sometimes forms a moral atmosphere among the public,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “In effect, we are talking about a danger facing the country’s national security because very often [government] decisions are motivated by parochial personal interests, rather than the interests of the state. And the methods of combating corruption have become obsolete and are not producing adequate results.” But the paper goes on to claim that attempts to quickly eliminate corruption would be “dangerous for stability” in Armenia.
Meanwhile, a senior member of the former ruling Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh), Vahagn Hayotsian, tells “Hayk” that a government fight against corruption should start from a break-up of economic monopolies existing in the country. “Let them first abolish the monopolies in the imports of petrol, flour or sugar,” he says. Hayotsian also wonders if Prosperous Armenia Party leader Gagik Tsarukian will “pay taxes in earnest” to fulfill his pre-election promises.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Lida Nanian, head of the government’s tax collection division in the northern region of Shirak, is set to be appointed regional governor. The paper notes that Nanian and her husband, who runs the regional branch of the ArmenTel telecom operator, owns a number of businesses in the regional capital Gyumri. “There was also speculation in Gyumri yesterday that the post of governor costs between $350,000 and $400,000,” it says.
“168 Zham” says that a majority of companies that are registered abroad and do business in Armenia are owned by Armenian citizens. The paper explains that the latter simply capitalize on an Armenian law that fully exempts foreign firms from profit tax during the first two years of their operations. “In fact, the owners of these companies are mainly parliament deputies who regularly deliver speeches from the National Assembly podium about the need for a fierce fight against corruption,” it says.