“The authorities have issued an instruction to ‘water down’ the criminal cases that were opened after the [December 6] constitutional referendum,” Aram Manukian, a senior member of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), tells “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” Manukian argues that virtually no officials involved in the conduct of the referendum have been arrested and prosecuted for fraud. “Vote rigging is the essence of these authorities,” he claims. “They can’t survive without it. If the authorities keep vote falsifiers in jail during the next elections they will hardly be able to recruit new ones.”
Interviewed by “Haykakan Zhamanak,” Hamazasp Danielyan, a political scientist, voices concern over government plans to introduce electronic voting in future Armenian elections. “In many countries, electronic voting has created more problems than solved existing ones,” says Danielyan. He says that the 2000 presidential election in the United States is a case in point. Armenia already introduced in 2011 online voting for its diplomats posted abroad. “Experience has showed that it’s a terribly controversial solution,” he says. “Besides, [with electronic voting] it would be practically impossible to monitor and prevent irregularities.”
“Zhoghovurd” blames some Armenian embassies abroad for Yerevan’s failure to thwart an “anti-Armenian” resolution on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that was passed by the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) on Tuesday. The paper singles out the Armenian missions in Georgia and Ukraine, countries whose PACE delegations overwhelmingly backed the resolution. It notes that neither embassy is headed by a professional diplomat.
“Aravot” reports that the Armenian government has allocated 330 million drams ($700,000) to a private firm, Flash, for the purchase of subsidized diesel fuel which is supposed to be distributed to low-income Armenian farmers. The paper recalls that several years ago the Armenian Ministry of Finance and the parliament’s Audit Chamber reported serious abuses in the fuel subsidy scheme that allegedly benefited the extended family of then parliament speaker Hovik Abrahamian.