Failures of the Armenian Judicial System

Marutni or Bust is frustrated with with the Armenian Judicial system and the Minister of Justice David Harutyunyan, who hopes to be running for Parliament on the upcoming parliamentary elections. The case has concluded in the court, with one trafficker receiving 5 years (should be eligible for parole next year), another 2 years and the others one year probation.

All I can say right now is that we should all once again be disappointed with the legal system in Armenia, which once again demonstrated that it does not work in the best interest of the people, but works to reward criminals so they will again go back to their dishonest deeds which provides an income for those people like RA Minister of Justice David Haroutiunian who has undoubtedly become one of the top 10 richest people in Armenia today as a results of manipulating the system to his advantage.

Phrase of the day #34

Kornelij Glas brings us the 34th issue of the “Phrase of the day” series:

Quote: Unless opposition collects more then 70% of the popular vote, it should reject the mandates given to it.
Аuthor: Hovhannes Hovhannisyan, Leader of Liberal-Progressive party of Armenia.

Voices from Civil Society — Mary Joyce

Via Global Voices Online:

Mary Joyce writes about her excitment about the Election Blogging Guide coming to Armenia and the importance of blogging.

The following are extracts from the article posted at the CRD / TI Election Monitor 2007:

“…Election blogs form an important alternative space for people to talk about politics. Although traditional media such as television, radio, and the newspapers are often biased or are afraid to publish certain news, blogs offer an opportunity for free speech. Through anonymous blogging as described in the Guide, both bloggers and commentators can even speak more freely than the traditional media. In addition, bloggers can act as citizen journalists, reporting news on election irregularities and fraud which the traditional media might not be doing.
The audience for blogging in Armenia is growing. Internet use has increased significantly in the past few years. In 2000, only 1.3 percent of Armenians were internet users. Now approximately 7.5 percent of Armenians use the internet…”

Is it possible to hold fair elections?

In the article entitled “The Big Game” the New Option blog discusses the promises of government to hold fair elections:

“…the Election Fraud machine formed in Armenia in 1995, and during the past ten years it has become some kind of a state institution on its own right.
The Election fraud machine also has control over business, privatization process…: Each participant of this Big Game gains his share of access to levers of power within the state, in accordance to their contribution, or their market share of the ballot rigging…:
Will the people in power be able to break that Machine? So far they have only been able to manage, control, use it – but it takes much more then that to break it. It takes extreeme measures and wide public participation…”

Parliamentary Election Monitor

Another issue of the 2007 Parliamanetary Election Monitor was posted on the CRD / TI Election Monitor Blog today – focusing on all major developments of the last week. Here are some of the issues covered by this issue of the Election Monitor:

  1. News regarding the high cost of political advertising slots through the broadcast media;
  2. RFE/RL reports that some regional TV stations say they will not air political advertising any at all;
  3. Armenia Now reports about the Heritage Party founded and chaired by U.S. born former Foreign Minister Raffi Hovannisyan – who says that they have been deprived of airtime for some time.
  4. The discussen stirred around hopes of the Minister of Justice, David Harutyuntyan to run for the parliament on the proportional list of the ruling Republican Party.
  5. Attacks on the vehicles of newspaper editors concentrating on the ArmeniaNow article covering the Friday incident of arson attack on the SUV of Ara Saghatelian – editor of “Im Iravunke” weekly and owner of online newspaper “”.
  6. Discussions about implied or obvious corruption among potential candidates for parliament: Gagik Tsarukyan, Aleksandr Sarkisyan and David Harutyunyan.
  7. Nazarian’s comments about the new political movement established in Armenia, Aylntrank (The Alternative) and the country development perspectives shared by the blogger.

For a much detailed discussion of all of the above and more visit the CRD / TI Election Monitor Blog.

"Come and get your share of oil and rice"

That’s the message spread out by Bekaisa, ArmYouth Blog, Anoush Armenia and possibly others. while the guest blogger on the CRD/TI Election Monitor 2007 Tamar Palandjian,Youth Program Coordinator of the Civil Society Instituteon has some further details and explanations:

“…a group of active young citizens are calling upon society to “wake up” from yet another long, cold and passive winter in Yerevan…”
…to celebrate Barekendan this year, people will be gathering at the Komitas statue (in front of the Conservatory) wearing costumes, playing jokes and games and music as well.

Sunday, February 18 at 13:00
Near the Komitas statue in front of the Music Conservatory
“Come and reclaim your oil and rice”

Please join us and spread the word about this event! …”

Kornelij's Election Leaflet #1

Kornelij Glas has started his personal Election Leaflet – albeit a “personal and incomplete” one as he claims. Here’s a translation of what seems to be a nicely sorted account of all the main political developments in the country:

1. Opposition will most likely join forces – the matter will be finalized in the nearest times.
2. It is already clear, that the “Rule of Law” won’t join into coalition with the opposition parties. Artur Baghdasaryan says opposition should not unite into a single block as a matter of principle.
3. “Ramkavar-Liberal-Democrat” and Samvel Babayan’s “Dashinq” will run in coalition. Importantly, Babayan seems to be challenging Serge himself, by possibly running in the same cunstituency as Serge’s brother.
4. RA Minister of Justice David Harutyunyan finally made up his mind to run in the elecitons as par tof the Republican Party of Armenia. Strangely, right after the decision was made the SUV of his former Press-Secretary was subjected to an arson attack.
5.Aram Sarkisyan, the boss of “Republic”, went to Washington – for meetings.
6.A new trend is coming out – generals going to parliament. The Deputy-Minister of Defense, Artur Aghabekyan and the Commander of the Forth Corps of the Armenian Army, General Seiran Saroyan are both on their way to Parliament.
7. This time the elections will be very well represented and covered online. TI has opened a blog: Parliamentary Election Monitor, soon the Human Rights in Armenia and Internews will come up with similar initiatives on their own.

Join the lively discussion at Kornelij’s blog.

High TV Fees for Political Campaigning, David Harutyunyan, Oskanyan and Globalization, Envirnoment and Labour Exploitation

Armenia blog has a full range of topics today, including: High TV Advertisement Fees Angers Politicians, “An example that should be followed by others” – Russian-Armenian Businessmen Help Nagorno-Karabakh, Pollution in Yerevan, Labor Exploitation in Armenia.

In the post “David Haroutyunyan to Participate in Parliamentary ElectionsRhyne sounds apalled:
If he seems familiar, that’s because you’ve seen him before on Armenia’s Richest Men list. It really is a Who’s Who of corrupt businessmen and politicians.
As to the points made by the RA Foreign Minister on Armenia and Globalization, the position of Armenia Blog is clear:

“I’ve always maintained that Armenia needs to become part of the global village, so to speak.

Armenia should not yield to anti-globalization motions, since taking into account country’s size and abilities, it is quite out of sense, stated Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian…
In his words, the little Armenia and the large Armenian Diaspora must use the chances given by globalization. If official Yerevan sensibly uses these opportunities, globalization can become a discovery for Armenia. If the country does not use the chances given by globalization, it can become a state that nobody pays attention to. (Panarmenian.Net)

True enough.”

More on oligarkh houses

Martuni or Bust repuplishes extracts from the Hetq article about the Member of Armenian Parliament Aleksandr Sargsyan (brother of Armenian presidential hopeful Serge Sargsyan), who happens to be selling a $3, 395,000 US house in Los Angeles.
” …interested buyers can learn more about the house, including its asking price—$3, 395,000—by visiting…In the tax returns presented to the State Tax Department he never mentioned that he had made that kind of money. ”
Check out or Martuin or Bust for more.

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