Politics 16:30 02/02/2024 Armenia

'Friction within government': Political analyst comments on high-profile arrests in Armenia

The high-profile arrests in Armenia in recent days are attributed to conflicts within the ruling Civil Contract party, which will further deepen, political scientist Suren Surenyants claims.

Six employees of Armenia’s Ministry of Economy have been arrested in a corruption investigation launched by the Investigative Committee and the National Security Service. The arrested suspects in the case also include Ashot Hovanesian, the founder and CEO of Synergy International Systems, and Ani Gevorgyan, the wife of Armenian parliament speaker Alen Simonyan’s brother.

"The authorities portray it as a fight against corruption, but anti-corruption fight is real only when the country is democratic. Despite the authorities' claims, Armenia is not a democratic country. It’s a corrupt authoritarian system, where it is senseless to talk about reforms. And if there are no reforms, it is pointless to talk about anti-corruption fight,” the expert told Panorama.am in an interview on Friday.

“In countries where only one person has all the power, the fight against corruption, as a rule, is used as a tool to sort out relations within government members. This is the case in all authoritarian countries. Corruption is rampant in all agencies, but the one that is needed by the man at the helm of power or more influential centers of power becomes the target.

“Therefore, what happened in the Ministry of Economy is part of a friction within the government. Of course, it does not rule out corruption offences in the ministry, but, I repeat that they can be found in all departments," Surenyants explained.

The political analyst believes the disagreements within the government will gradually deepen amid Pashinyan's plummeting approval rating and growing external challenges.

"Obviously, they treated the wife of Alen Simonyan's brother excessively strictly in an attempt to send a message to Simonyan. Naturally, there will be people in the team who disagree with this. For example, Hakob Arshakyan's move today comes to prove my claims. Speaking about the book of arrested Synergy Company Director Ashot Hovanesian, the latter's personality was fetishized and a proposal to applaud him was made. This is undoubtedly a political message," Surenyants said, adding Arshakyan could have also been affected by the recent developments. 



Source Panorama.am
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