“168 Zham” reacts to the resignation of Mihran Poghosian, the controversial head of Armenia’s Service for the Mandatory Execution of Judicial Acts (SMEJA), which followed reports that he has secret offshore accounts exposed by the Panama Papers. The paper says that the resignation must not be the end of the story: it sees sufficient grounds for prosecuting Poghosian for “large-scale tax evasion.” Poghosian must not enjoy a “monopoly on impunity as well,” it says, sarcastically alluding to his alleged control of banana imports to Armenia.
“Poghosian has resigned, or rather has been told to resign, in order to spare his superiors the need to resign,” claims the paper. “Incidentally, it will be interesting to see whether the SMEJA will freeze Mihran Poghosian’s assets in order to prevent the latter from leaving the country. To thousands of Armenians citizens, [asset freeze] is what Mihran Poghosian is known for.”
“While complaining about the conduct of Armenia’s strategic ally [Russia,] we somehow forget that we must first and foremost have expectations from ourselves and present our demands to our authorities before demanding anything from foreign leaders,” writes “Zhoghovurd.” “It is not Russia that keeps Serzh Sarkisian from abolishing economic monopolies and a 70 percent tax evasion, uprooting corruption and kicking corrupt sharks out of the state apparatus.”
“It can be said that the authorities in Armenia are reproducing themselves not only at the highest level but also in small towns and villages,” “Hraparak” writes in connection with weekend local elections held in several Armenian communities. “It can be concluded that the authorities have been turned into a pack of predators to keep even the most inept loyalists in office by breaking the opposition’s spirits and the will of its supporters.”