Tuesday, 20 October 2020

W Weekly Update

12-19 September

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Weekly update


19 September

The chairman of Armenia’s opposition Homeland Party, Artur Vanetsyan, handed membership cards to several dozen citizens, the party informed. And touching upon the political events in the country, Vanetsyan noted that major political developments were expected in Armenia in the near future, and the Homeland Party will play a key role in them, said news.am. At the end of the ceremony, the leader of this political force talked to his fellow party members and assured that with joint efforts, the Homeland Party will achieve its main goal: that people will live well in Armenia.

 

18 September

The government-backed bill on introducing spending disclosure of public officials in addition to the currently active asset disclosure passed parliament 101 to 17 at first reading. According to “Armenpress” news agency opposition Bright Armenia (LHK) lawmaker Taron Simonyan said they endorse the purpose of the bill but they will vote it down at first reading due to a number of “problems” during the debates. He said they are hopeful that the issues will be resolved until second reading. Public officials spending more than 2,000,000 drams at once or if the aggregate sum of the same type of spending totals 3,000,000 drams for expenses listed by law will have to disclose it in the report. Moreover, officials will have to disclose property which they are factually controlling but aren’t officially controlling.

 

17 September

Representatives of several civic groups deplored Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s angry reaction to their criticism of the choice of three new members of Armenia’s Constitutional Court confirmed by the parliament, Azatutyun.am reported. The Western-funded NGOs voiced serious concerns over two of those justices nominated by Pashinian’s government and a national convention of judges, saying that they were linked to Armenia’s former leadership. One of them, Yervand Khundkarian, has headed the Court of Cassation for the last two years while the other, Edgar Shatirian, taught law at a university. Some civic activists claim that their election by the Armenian parliament controlled by the ruling My Step bloc constituted a betrayal of the goals of the 2018 “Velvet Revolution”that brought Pashinian to power.

 

16 September

Armenia’s education minister Arayik Harutyunyan faced fresh calls for his resignation as the parliamentary opposition Bright Armenian Party was joined on Wednesday by the Prosperous Armenia Party to call for his ouster, saying during his two-and-a-half-year tenure he has failed to carry out major education reforms. Harutyunyan, whose official title is minister of education, culture and sports and who is a high-ranking member of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s My Step bloc, rejected the calls for his resignation and defended his record during a press conference on Wednesday, by not providing details of his ministry’s accomplishments but rather resorting to his usual confrontational tone and becoming defensive. For more information read asbarez.com.

 

15 September

The first of four virtual sessions of the U.S.-Armenian Strategic Dialogue took place, with the United States represented by USAID Deputy Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia, Alexander Sokolowski and U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Kara C. McDonald, and Armenia represented by Deputy Minister of Justice Kristinne Grigoryan and Chairwoman of the Corruption Prevention Commission Haykuhi Harutyunyan. In line with armradio.am the discussion focused on joint achievements and future cooperation to advance priority democratic reforms in Armenia, including anti-corruption and judicial and legal reforms.

 

14 September

According to an official press statement the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stephane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the United States of America) held intensive consultations in Paris on September 14. Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office (PRCiO) Andrzej Kasprzyk also participated in the meetings. The Co-Chairs reviewed the situation in the region with particular focus on new developments following the mid-July violent escalation on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border. The Co-Chairs carefully considered and assessed the private and public messages and concerns of the sides. The Co-Chairs were briefed by the PRCiO on the security situation on the ground and welcomed his concrete preparations for the resumption of monitoring activities.

 

13 September

The UN marks its 75th anniversary with its opening session on September 15, 2020. When it gavels-in, the president who will be calling the UNGA to order will be Turkish diplomat Volkan Bozkır, a Genocide-denier, said  hellenicnews.com.Bozkir refuses to admit to the great genocide of Christians – Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks – that remains a blight on Turkey’s past. In 2015, then-Turkish Minister for European Affairs Bozkir described Pope Francis’ statement as “history falsifying” and rejected Pope Francis’ statement over the 1915 incidents, which the pontiff described as genocide. “There is no period of time in Turkey’s history that it would be ashamed of. Efforts towards constituting an identity based on falsified documents will fail,” Bozkir said.

 

12 September

According to Zhoghovurd daily, reported by news.am the number of job seekers is 88,196 people as of July 2020, which is 5,376 people or 6.5% more than the indicator of the same period in 2019, and 5,387 people or 6.5% more than the indicator of the same period in 2018. The average monthly number of officially registered unemployed [in Armenia] is 60,126 people as of July 2020, which is 3,117 people or 4.9% less than the indicator of the same period of 2019, and 7,951 people or 11.7% and less than the indicator of the same period in 2018. It turns out that there are 613,062 jobs in Armenia, whereas 88,196 people are looking for jobs, and 60,126 people are unemployed.

 

Sources: https://news.am/eng/, https://armenpress.am/eng, https://www.azatutyun.am/en, http://asbarez.com, https://en.armradio.am, https://www.osce.org, https://hellenicnews.com

11 October 2020
21 September 2020
13 September 2020
19 July 2020

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies

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