Khosrov Harutiunian, a pro-government lawmaker, assures “Hayots Ashkhar” that President Serzh Sarkisian did not intend to undercut his government when he decried corruption in state procurements on Saturday. He says Sarkisian did so in response to an inquiry by his Oversight Service which exposed vicious practices “that have plagued us and corrupted our reality for 20 years.”
Artak Zeynalian, a senior member of the opposition Hanrapetutyun (Republic), tells “Aravot” that Sarkisian himself is responsible for the problem because he controls the government. Zeynalian says Sarkisian should have kept the government’s day-to-day activities under his personal control. “And the most important prerequisite for effective governance is political legitimacy,” he says.
“In Armenia, state procurement is not the only process based on kickbacks,” writes “168 Zham.” “It may sound strange but kickbacks paid for procurement contracts are peanuts in comparison with other, more important kickbacks. Namely, the institution of political kickbacks underlying Armenia’s political system. The last parliamentary elections are a great example of that. Any national election in Armenia represents a mass manifestation of kickbacks because vote bribes, which have become the only driving force of the electoral system, are also, broadly speaking, a type of kickbacks.”
“Zhoghovurd” quotes Lyudmila Sargsian, a lawmaker from the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), as saying that the HAK has not held a promised rally in Yerevan this month because of its top leader, Levon Ter-Petrosian, has still not decided whether to run in the February 2013 presidential election. “We are waiting to see what developments will occur,” she says. “We will also test our capabilities in terms of participation before holding the rally. I think that the rally should be held by October 10.”
“Zhamanak” says the five-day military exercises that were held in Armenia by the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) were aimed at “reviving” the Russian-led military alliance. The paper claims that this objective was not achieved and that the CSTO will eventually become as “marginalized” as the Commonwealth of Independent States has. “The Kremlin is trying to make the CSTO more flexible than the CIS,” it says. “That is why it set up its rapid reaction forces. Nevertheless, Russia does realize that even the existence of those forces cannot save a structure based on an inherently unhealthy foundation.” It says the CSTO is used by Moscow for “blackmailing” its former Soviet satellites, rather than strengthening their security. “From that standpoint, a review of relations with the CSTO is becoming a strategic goal for Armenia,” concludes the paper.