For “Aravot,” it is obvious that Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) leader Gagik Tsarukian’s political activities are based on his business interests. “This would be a totally normal approach if he was not a National Assembly member and did not formally act like a politician,” writes the paper. It says Tsarukian’s and the BHK’s position on the thorny issue of taxing cement imported to Armenia is a vivid of example of such a conflict of interest. They want significant tariffs on cement imports because the country’s largest cement plant, Ararat Tsement, is owned by Tsarukian, and that is “not a normal phenomenon,” it says. “Parliament deputies cannot simultaneously represent the interests of their voters and one person’s business interests,” concludes “Aravot.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that Mihran Poghosian, a former senior official facing corruption charges in Armenia, requested political asylum in Russia after being detained there late last week. The pro-government paper dismisses Poghosian’s claims that he is prosecuted for political reasons. It also notes growing suspicions among ordinary people that the Armenian authorities allowed indicted former officials like Poghosian to flee the country in return for hefty payments. While sharing these concerns, the paper says that the authorities would break the law if they banned every ex-official from travelling abroad.
“Zhoghovurd” comments on questions surrounding significant assets that have been declared by Argishti Kyaramian, one of the deputies of Davit Sanasarian, the head of the State Oversight Service (SOS) prosecuted on corruption charges. The paper wonders how Kyaramian, who previously worked as a tax inspector and law-enforcement official, acquired them. The official is expected to run the SOS pending the outcome of the ongoing corruption case against Sanasarian.