Pashinyan reluctant to bring corrupt former officials to justice
For many years, Armenia has been suffering from a number of problems that the former government was unable to solve or just did not want to solve. The widespread corruption was in the second category, since the governments of Serzh Sargsyan and his predecessor Robert Kocharyan were the main originators of the corrupt system in Armenia.
Therefore, during the "velvet revolution" in April, the protest leader Nikol Pashinyan, who is now the prime minister of Armenia, was emphasizing that he would allegedly fight corruption in the country and bring to justice those who have made a fortune through embezzlement, corruption and monopolies.
The new director of Armenia’s National Security Council Artur Vanetsyan has also made similar statements. He claimed that appropriate activities have already begun and promised to disclose the names of 350 corrupt officials in the near future.
Obviously, such strong statements from the new government disturbed many of Armenia’s former officials from Kocharyan and Sargsyan’s entourage, who illegally made huge fortunes. The Armenian media have found out that several former officials began to export their illegal capital abroad after the change of power in the country.
However, time goes by but Pashinyan and Vanetsyan are reluctant to fulfill their promises. The corrupt officials are still at large, including Kocharyan and Sargsyan, whose personal wealth is estimated at $4 billion and $7 billion respectively. For many years, these two men were the main figures of the corrupt system in Armenia. The question now arises whether Pashinyan will go for bringing Kocharyan and Sargsyan to justice or he will punish only their underlings.
If Pashinyan chooses the first option, he will raise his credibility both in Armenia itself and in the international arena. However, if Pashinyan selects the second option, he will thereby confirm the rumors that he has concluded an agreement with Sargsyan providing power to Pashinyan in exchange for security of Sargsyan and his corrupt team.
In that case, no real changes will occur in the fight against corruption, since Kocharyan and Sargsyan are still in control of the corrupt system in Armenia. The country’s population knows exactly that if Pashinyan really wants to combat corruption, he will have to start with these two persons.