“Hayots Ashkhar” believes that the Armenian government is not doing enough to combat corruption and should change its anti-corruption strategy. “Corruption is reproduced every hour, every minute in every place where every bureaucrat … distributes or redistributes something,” writes the paper. “Therefore, an effective fight against embezzlement among bureaucrats must be based not on the toughening of punishments but a review of the existing legal norms.” It claims that laws passed by the Armenian parliament only increase corruption opportunities.
“Hraparak” reports that police in Yerevan refused to allow one of its correspondents to visit a criminal suspect who, according to his mother, was tortured in police custody on Monday. The paper says the incident coincided with an international workshop in Yerevan that was attended by Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian and discussed mechanisms for preventing police torture. It accuses Sarkisian and other officials who took part in the workshop of hypocrisy, saying that they are doing nothing to ensure Armenia’s compliance with international anti-torture norms.
A deputy chairman of the presidential Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), Razmik Zohrabian, tells “Aravot” that the HHK’s junior coalition partner, the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), will be one of its rivals in the 2012 parliamentary elections. Commenting on BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian’s stated ambition to win those elections, Zohrabian says: “There is a famous saying that a soldier not seeking to become a general is not a good soldier. But everyone also knows that not all soldiers become generals, no matter how much they want or talk about that.”
According to Zohrabian, a party seeking to win a parliament majority must also have its own presidential candidate. “But the BHK is not saying who will be its candidate,” he says. “We have our president and will be supporting his candidacy [in 2013.] That is why we want to come first [in the parliamentary elections,] and that is why we are saying that we are dominating today and will be dominating tomorrow.”
“Hetq” reports that since 1996 the Armenian police have found more than 500 cars that were stolen abroad and smuggled to Armenia. The paper says only 32 of them have been sent back to their rightful owners because “car transportation is very costly.”