“Aravot” looks at new anti-corruption bodies and legislation introduced by the current Armenian government. “God willing, all this will bear fruit,” writes the newspaper editor, Aram Abrahamian. “In this regard, I do not doubt the sincerity of the prime minister [Nikol Pashinian] and his entourage. But let us frankly answer one question: do we still have ministers, parliament deputies or other senior officials who are engaged in business?” Abrahamian maintains that there are still many officials who “continue to make money through entrepreneurship.” This, he says, calls into question the success of the government’s anti-corruption drive.
“Zhoghovurd” says that selective justice also remains a problem in Armenia. “But while this practice was guided from the highest echelons of power, from Serzh Sarkisian or Robert Kocharian, in the past, Nikol Pashinian is definitely not sponsoring anyone,” writes the paper. “It’s just that he is surrounded by people who sponsor one or another individual.” In particular, it claims, the chief of the Armenian army’s General Staff, General Artak Davtian, has ensured that his son performs compulsory military service in “privileged conditions” at an army unit deployed in southeastern Armenia. It calls for Davtian’s resignation.
In the same commentary, “Zhoghovurd” also questions legal grounds on which Health Minister Arsen Torosian had been exempted from military service. “He must be ousted from the state apparatus for desertion despite enjoying the backing of the prime minister’s press secretary, Vladimir Karapetian,” it says.
Lragir.am reacts to the establishment of a special anti-corruption court in Ukraine. The pro-Western publication complains that in Armenia the authorities only recently started working on a comprehensive anti-corruption strategy. “The absence of radical steps in Armenia has enabled representatives of the former regime to speak of selective justice and claim that this looks more like commerce: you pay and get out [of prison,]” it claims.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” dismisses talk of a “heated political autumn” in Armenia. The pro-government paper says that people making such a forecast, notably allies of former President Serzh Sarkisian, are misjudging the public mood. It says that they are wrong to think that Armenians unhappy with the state of affairs in their country could back the former regime. “Such a thing is impossible,” it says. “Therefore, even if there is a heated autumn it will be about more quickly solving crimes committed in the past and punishing the former rulers with more drastic measures.”