While Armenia’s president has often talked about the need to prevent clear-cut businessmen and entrepreneurs from taking seats in the parliament, the facts on the ground point in a different direction.
Most sitting MPs openly flout the law, in apparent disregard of the demands of the RA Constitution.
The authorities argue that such measures should be done on a basis of “good will”, all the while forgetting to mention that the RA Constitution expressly prohibits MPs from engaging in commercial ventures.
Naturally, certain MPs do not report that they are the owners or heads of various commercial enterprises. They conveniently circumvent the law by using the names of others; oftentimes family members.
Aleksan Petrosyan, a well-known businessman running for re-election in Election District 21 on the ruling Republican Party slate, is one such example.
According to his financial disclosure, Petrosyan owns 100% shares in the foodstuff manufacturing company MAP Ltd. He also sits on Prime Minister Sargsyan’s Industrial Council on a rotating basis.
He also reported various land holdings of 6.83 to 98.87 hectares in the Armavir Marz villages of Lenoughi, Bambakashat, Artamet, Talvorik and Mayisyan.
Back in March, Hetq wrote to Talvorik Mayor Kirakos Saghatelyan, requesting that he provide us with a listing of the largest land holders in the village.
He wrote back, saying that Aleksan Petrosyan owned 102 hectares in the village – 98 hectares of grape vineyards and 4 of pomegranates.
Petrosyan, in his disclosure, only reported 98.97 hectares of holdings in Talvorik.
Even though Petrosyan owns 100% of the shares of MAP Ltd., he only reported income is the salary he receives as an MP – 3,108,580 AMD.
As of March 1, his cash holdings total 625.4 million AMD.
His opponent, Sedrak Hovhannisyan of the Armenian National Congress, claims to be unemployed, with zero assets, income, or cash.
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