“Zhoghovurd” recalls that as recently as in January President Serzh Sarkisian touted his administration’s decision to criminalize illegal enrichment of state officials, something which is now used against his cronies and relatives accused or suspected of corruption. “Serzh Sarkisian hardly knew that the first criminal cases resulting from the legislative changes advertised by him … will be opened against people close to him,” comments the paper. “The law mentioned by Sarkisian was not enforced during his tenure. Instead, after the velvet revolution we are witnessing revelations of corrupt practices by Serzh Sarkisian’s relatives and cronies or individuals who held senior positions during his rule.” It says the corruption cases are exposing the scale of Armenia’s “plunder” by its former rulers and people linked to them.
“Hraparak” says that of all problems that have long plagued Armenia electoral fraud must be tackled and eliminated first. “True, some of the past ugly practices were no longer registered in the 2017 elections,” writes the paper. “But the unprecedented amount of vote buying replaced all other mechanisms [of vote manipulation] and nullified progress … We can say for sure that there will be no vote bribes in the next elections because this evil is directly correlated to the political will of authorities.”
“Aravot” reports and comments on large-scale military exercises which began in Azerbaijan on Monday. The paper says some experts believe that the drills are a pretext for Baku to move more troops towards the “line of contact” around Nagorno-Karabakh. It also notes that a group of pro-Azerbaijani Russian pundits and politicians visited some Azerbaijani army positions along the frontline a few days ago. It says anti-Armenian statements made by them are a cause for concern even though they do not reflect the Kremlin’s position.
“Different expert groups have different ties to different officials who may have business interests in Azerbaijan,” a renowned Russian political scientist, Fyodor Lukyanov, tells “168 Zham,” commenting on those statements. “In such cases one must bear in mind official statements which abound in Russian-Armenian relations. There are no taboo subjects in those relations.”