Armenian National Congress (ANC) parliamentary faction secretary Aram Manukyan and Republican Party parliamentary faction member Samvel Nikoyan took part in a debate at Media Center yesterday about the launch of the “4+4+4” format negotiations on the Draft Electoral Code and the provisions of concern.
Over the past two decades, the large-scale construction works in the center of Yerevan city have caused serious urban development issues, including the demolition of old buildings of historic and cultural value, the density of new buildings within the surroundings of old residential buildings and addition of extensions, which also raise the problem of meeting seismic safety standards.
The United States of America would like surely to take the chance that Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev are in Washington and organise a meeting but it is clear that such a meeting will not take place.
Armenia’s complicated logistics reach, the economic problems of Russia, the situation created in the market of Armenian aviation, gaps in marketing and poor condition of infrastructures, particularly of roads, hamper the growth of tourism. The experts of aviation and tourism sphere spoke about it yesterday at Media Center.
“Russia doesn’t withdraw from Syria but from the situation that occurred there. It is called an “exit strategy”,” Alexander Iskandaryan, Director of Caucasus Institute, Political Scientist, shared his opinion at the Media Center discussion on March 18.
Though Deputy Finance Minister Armen Alaverdyan stated that Armenia would continue to charge value added tax from individuals who import cars from the Eurasian Economic Union countries, on March 16 the National Assembly adopted in the second reading and completely the legislative amendments to end this practice.
The number of registered job seekers in Shirak Region has surged from 9000 to 15.400 in a year. In the meantime, the Government’s employment programs continue their activities in the region, with positive results being observed: within the last year’s programs by the Employment State Agency 563 people in Gyumri found jobs while 254 people were involved in the seasonal programs. These numbers in total, however, make 5.30 percent of all registered job seekers in the region.
Despite the fact that according to the accounting of Lori Regional Administration about 100 million AMD is necessary annually for solving the transportation of schoolchildren and teachers in the marz, only 278 thousand AMD is provided by the state budget for this purpose. The amount of the money has not changed during the last ten years and, in spite of real needs, the regional administration did not even try to demand more money from the Ministry of Finance when they submitted the annual budget. So the provided money is distributed among the four schools of the marz to solve the transportation problem of schoolchildren attending those schools only.
Levon Barseghyan from Asparez Journalists’ Club, Gyumri shared thoughts on the political situation in the country, civil society issues, Pemyakov’s trial, general elections and escalation along the Azerbaijani border.
During the eighth session the Fifth Armenian Parliament adopted four times more laws at special parliamentary meetings than the lawmakers managed to adopt during the whole session. 90 out of 112 legislative amendments were adopted at special meetings, with lawmakers initiating only 8 /7%/ laws.
Though the new Election Code is to be drafted according to President Serzh Sargsyan’s decision and introduced to the Parliament no later than March 1, the opposition, civil society representatives and even experts know little about the provisions of the document.
Armenia needs a business ombudsman to improve the effective protection of the interests of business in the country. Besides, the NGOs defending the interests of business should activate the work with government bodies.
Human rights defenders refuse to agree with the official explanation for civic activist Vardges Gaspari’s detention. They describe the detention as “an illegal and unreasonable act” and Gaspari is detained for his political views.