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 Tuesday, May 12 2020 15:35
David Stepanyan

Armenia. From fists and swearing to systemic politics

Armenia. From fists and swearing to systemic politics

ArmInfo.On May 11, after being signed by the President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian, the law "On Confiscation of Illegally Acquired Property" entered into force. From  now on, any incumbent or former government official, who failed to  prove the lawfulness of the acquired property worth over 50 million  drams, is deprived of it by a court decision. Meanwhile, earlier law  enforcement officers had to prove the lawfulness of the property  acquired by state officials.

This event, by and large, is the main news of recent weeks. Even  though it was expected, it sidelined the most publicly discussed  street and parliamentary fights of the Armenian lawmakers. It was  this law that became the root cause of the inappropriate behavior of  the "adequate" hooligans and the dense behavior of "bright"  politicians. In fact, it was a rather provocative behavior, bait,  which the representatives of the "stepping" majority so recklessly  took, up to the level of the deputy speaker of the parliament. And  the leadership of the ruling party itself, judging by the statements  of individual lawmakers, the head of the parliamentary faction Lilit  Makunts and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan himself, is well aware of  the essence of the situation.

This is evidenced by the lightning-fast signing by the president of  the law "On the confiscation of illegally acquired property" after a  fight in parliament and the accompanying wave of fists. Meanwhile,  before that, Armen Sarkissian, was not in particular hurry to sign  it, observing all the terms and procedural framework necessary in  such cases. It was the entry into force of the law that became the  most painful and therefore the best response of the authorities to  the ''willy-nilly'' brawlers and most importantly to the ''patrons''  of fistfights. It was a response to ''son-in-law'' Mikael Minasyan  (the latter's most popular title). It was a response to his  father-in-law - former president Serzh Sargsyan, a response to the  environment of another former president Robert Kocharian. A response  to dozens of robbers of state assets of the republican scale, a  response to hundreds of lower-level robbers. It is clear that the law  was developed and adopted by no means with the aim of confiscating  from small election fraudsters of garages and ugly booths built in  the "green zones". And not even the mansions of the "republican"  bureaucrats who gave permits for illegal construction to their  "stooges" for their loyal service. The law was adopted in relation to  specific individuals, several dozen families that have appropriated  the national wealth of the Armenian people over the past two decades.

In this light, it is noteworthy that the accelerated implementation  of the Judicial and Legal Reform (Vetting) Strategy for 2019-2023  adopted in 2019, follows the law "On Confiscation of Illegally  Acquired Property". Very briefly, the essence of the vetting is to  clean up the judges who still continue to work, protecting the  "formers" from fair punishment and to replace them with young judges  who are ready, , to take verdicts in cases relating to the  confiscation of looted state property.

According to Prosecutor General Artur Davtyan, in the recent decade  alone, the turnover of illegal economic activity in Armenia amounted  to hundreds of millions of dollars. Moreover, all these cases under  investigation are interconnected, and unprecedented in scope. Illegal  business was carried out through hundreds of formal business  entities, however, it was coordinated from one or two centers. So  far, only certain parts of this complex of cases have been published  regarding Mikael Minasyan and Gagik Khachatryan.

The state apparatus, in particular its force sector, acts extremely  slowly and indecisively. The main reason is the affiliation of a  number of "agents", investigators, judges, why not, the heads of  departments with people, whom they have to dispossess and put in  jail. The last manifestation of this unpleasant phenomenon was the  escape of the actual owner of Ucom Gurgen Khachatryan from the  investigation. The son of the former super minister Gagik Khachatryan  became aware of the change of the measure of restraint against him to  arrest long before it was announced. The hastened appointment of  Argishti Kharamyan as deputy director of the National Security  Service testified that the authorities are aware of such a situation.  The compelled reason for the appointment of a 29-year-old  non-systemic worker to this post is obvious: Prime Minister Pashinyan  simply does not trust the director of the National Security Service  Eduard Martirosyan, recently appointed by him. It is clear that under  such conditions, radical reform + shake-up of personnel in the NSS,  the Police, the Prosecutor General's Office, the Special  Investigation Service, and all other "bodies" is a necessity. Without  this, there will simply be no one to implement the law "On  Confiscation of Illegally Acquired Property". 

Nevertheless, we see that, the law enforcement system urged on by the  prime minister, who, in turn, is urged by the society, with the  support of parliament, nevertheless grabbed the criminal corruption  octopus by the ends of its limbs. And the octopus immediately began  to move all the limbs it had: all those Danielyans, Marukyans and  other servants of the former comprador regime, which is slowly but  surely transforming into the fifth column. There is no point in  responding to this demagoguery, hysterical cries of this entire hired  public, let alone beating them. This will only lead in the future to  the transformation of an empty space into a political factor. Prime  Minister Pashinyan's attempts to justify the broken nose of an  adequate (member of the Adequate movement) and slam to the  ''political corpse'' with "psychological pressure" on the authorities  are completely meaningless.

"My step", especially Pashinyan, should have been prepared for such  provocations and pressure, respectively, they just do not deserve  justification for the weakness shown. Any in-depth reforms are always  paid for by the loss of popularity of those who carry them out. Given  the specifics of the Armenian realities, young reformers need to be  prepared not only to lose the rating, but also to similar theatrical  performances. The only alternative is the surrender of power to the  "formers", the methods of which against predecessor successors will  be far from being velvet.

In this light, the main thing for the authorities is to continue to  go all the way along the planned path. To go steadily,  systematically, not paying attention to debris lying under their feet  and even biting. In the end, the authorities simply have no other  choice. Deprivation of the robbers of the loot is the landmark and,  accordingly, the last possibility of revenge has been obviously  chosen correctly. Along the way, it is necessary to take total  control of all major financial flows in the country, from the  country, and even into the country. The activities of the Tsarukians,  Aleksanyans, and other oligarchs newly-reincarnated into businessmen  should be taken under the control of, the regulator at least. It is  necessary to adopt and implement several more initiatives and laws,  including, of course, the reform of the Constitution. If this task is  finally formed, or even achieved, all these ''bright adequates'' will  automatically sink into the swamp, as quickly as they emerged from  there. And finally, new people, new political forces, new ideas, a  new opposition to the authorities, and accordingly, a new future for  Armenia will take the place of ''Marukyans''.  After all, in the 21st  century, the technologies are the one to make politics and not  obscene and slap-blows.  The ruling majority bears full  responsibility for the transition from fists and swearing to  systemic, fundamental, institutional policies and the consequences of  the absence of this transition. And it is time for the ruling  majority and, of course, the "face" of the authorities- Prime  Minister Pashinyan to realize this. 

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