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Press Review


“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” questions the government’s sincerity to present a “good” electoral code. The daily writes: “In fact, the authorities from the beginning wanted to present a bad document and did a brilliant job… What is unclear is why they needed to have such a long text. They could as well have limited it to just three articles: the ruling party does everything to have a majority; if it fails to ensure it through fraud the first time around, it gets a second chance; the presence of journalists and local observers is banned unless they are invited by government bodies.”

“Zhamanak” comments on the appointment of the chief of the presidential surveillance service, Hovhannes Hovsepian, as new head of the State Revenues Committee (SRC), a government-affiliated agency tasked with collecting taxes and customs fees. The paper suggests that by having his confidante in this role President Serzh Sarkisian effectively takes control of the sphere: “The evidence of this is also that Sarkisian personally allayed the fears of SRC officials about possible staff changes. But at the same time he warned that there will not be great changes in the personnel if the officials are ready to work in accordance with new demands.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” also focuses on the circumstance that Sarkisian personally introduced the new SRC chief to his future staff, writing: “In public perception, the SRC has always been one of the most corrupt government agencies and Sarkisian has always entrusted management of this body to his loyalists. It is the SRC that possesses full information about the real financial affairs of oligarchs and it is only with the SRC’s knowledge that these oligarchs can hide their real revenues… In other words, the SRC also performs the role of the ruling clan’s ‘black’ treasurer that also collects files discrediting these oligarchs. In this sense, Sarkisian’s attention to the SRC is quite natural.”

(Tigran Avetisian)

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