“Zhoghovurd” reports that Hayk Sargsian, a parliament deputy from the ruling My Step bloc, has drafted a bill that would effectively exempt Armenians from compulsory military service in return for a 10 million-dram ($21,000) payment. The paper criticizes the idea as “direct propaganda of desertion in a country at war” and wonders who its “real” author is. “Why is the Defense Ministry silent?” it asks. The paper is worried that the ministry may back the bill.
“Zhamanak” reports that Yerevan Mayor Hayk Marutian has taken a few days off just one month after ending a three-week vacation which he reportedly spent in Europe. The paper says this may be linked to a growing scandal caused by hitherto unpublicized lavish donations made to the Yerevan municipality by several wealthy businessmen. “Why did the municipality avoid informing the public about the donors?” it asks. “Was Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, who periodically speaks of transparent governance and tries to present periodical reports to the public, aware of that?” The paper wonders if Marutian’s controversial actions are the result of “corruption risks” or his inexperience.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” sees “serious symptoms” of a lack of adequate policing in Armenia. The paper says in particular that the police have still not tracked down a taxi driver who used a passport dropped by a client in his car to obtain a bank loan and carry out other illegal financial transactions. “The citizen filed a complaint to the police but they have done nothing about it,” it writes. It says that another citizen, who claims that he does not own or drive a car, had his bank account frozen by the police recently because of his alleged failure to pay a fine for a traffic rule violation.