Mar 24, 2017

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Hosni Mubarak freed after six years in detention

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been freed from detention, six years after being overthrown following the Arab Spring uprising in 2011.

On Friday, Mubarak left a military hospital in southern Cairo and went to his home in the northern suburb of Heliopolis.

Mubarak was the first leader to face trial after the Arab Spring uprisings that swept the region. He was accused of inciting the deaths of protesters in the 18-day revolt.

He also faced a number of other charges that eventually were dismissed.

Earlier this month, he was cleared of the murder charges.

Mubarak’s lawyer confirmed that the former leader is now ensconced at home in the upscale Heliopolis neighborhood.

Mr Mubarak, 88, became president in 1981 after Anwar Sadat’s assassination.

He had been at Maadi Military Hospital since 2013, when he was transferred there on bail from Torah prison.

Mr Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted in 2012 of complicity in the killing of protesters who died at the hands of security forces in February, 2011.

Another trial was held and a judge decreed in May 2015 that Mr Mubarak could be released from detention.


Karen Karapetyan says he is unaware of illegal campaigning

Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan says he is unaware of the lists of voters drawn up by directors of kindergartens and schools.

“I have just said that I know nothing about the fact,” he said.

Commenting the statement of the Heritage Party leader Raffi Hovannisian, who said they are determined to continue their struggle no matter where they are – in prison or in the street, Mr Karapetyan said, “I avoid such things because I think that arbitrary destabilization poses danger to the country.


ORO alliance to turn to CEC

During their campaign rally in Armenia’s Spitak town, members of the ORO alliance referred to the evidence collected by the Union of Informed Citizens (UIC) according to which school principals in Armenia pressurize staff members and pupils’ parents to vote for the ruling Republican Party (HHK) in the April parliamentary elections. The UIC claims that the ruling party abused its administrative resource making heads of schools and kindergartens draw up lists of voters who will vote for the HHK in the April 2 vote.

“We regret to know that the authorities have involved teachers in their dirty games. I know that they [teachers] get involved in this dirty election games against their will,” said Armen Martirosyan, a senior member of the ORO alliance.

“We shall turn to the Central Electoral Commission with a demand to disallow HHK’s participation in the parliamentary elections,” he added.


Karen Karapetyan: Our team really knows how to change the country

The Republican Party of Armenia today met voters of Yerevan’s Ajapnyak district.

Addressing the participants of the meeting, [Prime Minister] Karen Karapetyan said they are going to ratify the document on establishing a free-trade zone between Iran and Armenia.

“I think the free economic zone will be established in September or October,” he said.

Karen Karapetyan stressed that the HKK offers the most comprehensive platform that gives answers to all important questions.

“Our team really knows how to change the country. Our team is convinced that it can be done no matter of how skeptical people are and in what environment we live,” he added.


Seyran Ohanyan: We have got stuck in the same place

Former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan who leads the ORO alliance says the parliamentary elections scheduled for April 2 imply more responsibility than the presidential elections.

Mr Ohanyan dwelt on a number of obstacles hindering the development of the country. He stressed that we do not have managers to take the country forward.

“We have got stuck in the same place over years and registered regression,” he said. Ohanyan stressed that although the three of them were once in power, they saw the pain experienced by their compatriots.

“There are not people among us whose friends, relatives or neighbours have seized the government or plundered the country,” he said.


Abuse of administrative resources at schools and kindergartens: Yelk holds rgent press conference

Members of the Yelk (Way Out) alliance, Alen Simonyan and Artak Zeynalyan are holding an urgent press conference in connection with the 114 recordings released today which show abuse of administrative resources at schools and kindergartens.


Samvel Babayan ‘in good mood’

Nagorno-Karabakh’s former top military commander Samvel Babayan is ‘in a good mood,’ his lawyer Avetis Kalashyan said on Friday.

The lawyer today visited Babayan, who is kept in an isolation ward of the National Security Service. The investigative body is to file a petition within 72 hours according to which Babayan will be either arrested or released.

Samvel Babayan, a former top military commander of the Artsakh Republic, was arrested on March 22 on charges of attempting to smuggle a missile launcher into Armenia. According to a statement of the Armenian National Security Service, Bababyan and two other individuals attempted to smuggle an Igla shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile. The NSS said the other two persons purchased and transported the missile system on the orders of Babayan.


Artur Khachatryan: Would corruption be eliminated if there were no war?

“The world is ruled by Jews, not by Armenians,” says Zoya Tadevoysan, a senior member of an alliance led by the Armenian National Congress (HAK) and People’s Party of Armenia (HZhK).

The female candidate says this is the main reason why Israel, a country at war, does not have problems with investments while Armenia has.

The corrupt Armenia cannot be compared with Israel.

ARF-Dashnaktsutyun representative Artur Khachatryan disagrees with Zoya Tadevoysan. “Why do you link corruption with war? Do you mean to say that corruption would be eliminated if there were no war?” he said.

“War creates a fertile ground for corruption,” says Zoya Tadevosyan.

Artur Khachatryan says cash money ‘runs away from Armenia’ because the state is carrying out a wrong economic policy. “You surrendered 800 hectares of land and lost 100 people. It was not a war, was it?”

Mr Khachatryan wants everyone to understand that the Karabakh problem will not be resolved for a long time; we need to grow our economy accordingly.

Mr Tadevosyan advised the guests at the Media Centre NGO to condemn the disgraceful economic situation in Armenia.

 

 


Gagik Tsarukyan to voters: Do not lister to your relatives, friends, godfather or in-laws

Gagik Tsarukyan, a famous businessman of Armenia who leads an alliance bearing his name, held a campaign rally in Ararat on March 24. Argam Abrahamyan, the son of former Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan and son-in-law of Gagik Tsarukyan is stands as a candidate in the April 2 parliamentary elections in a constituency in Ararat.

Addressing local voters, Tsarukyan said he had always stood by people and would continue his philanthropic activities.

“I have always shared my earnings [with others] and God has given me more, dear people,” said the leader of the Tsarukyan bloc.

He reminded that he did not form a coalition government with the ruling party [Republican Party of Armenia-HKK] in 2012. Nor will he do it after the April 2 vote. “Today Tsarukyan does not want to form a coalition, he wants to win by 50+1.”

“Victory!” people cried out.

Gagik Tsarukyan urged people to go to the polls and vote for the candidate whom they believe and whose work they have seen.

“Do not lister to your relatives, friends, godfather or in-laws,” he said in his speech.


Nikol Pashinyan addresses people from the heights of Azatamut

Nikol Pashinyan, an outspoken opposition lawmaker who runs for Parliament on Yelk bloc’s list of election candidates, addresses people from the heights of Azatamut community in border Tavush marz.


Raffi Hovannisian to Joseph Dual: You have let down the Armenian voter, civil society, the EPP

Yerevan–Raffi K.Hovannisian, Armenia’s first minister of foreign affairs and current chairman of its Heritage Party, has sent the following letter to Joseph Daul, president of the European People’s Party (EPP) of which Heritage is a member.

“24 March 2017

Mr. Joseph Daul
President, European People’s Party
Brussels

Dear Mr. President:

The ruling Republican party has widely distributed, on public television and elsewhere, an Armenian-language voice-over of a video message portraying your image purportedly expressing your support of–and wishing success to–it and all of its candidates in the upcoming elections.

If this does not correspond with reality, I apologize for the inconvenience and urge you immediately to set the record straight in a second video message, this time addressed to the Heritage party and the alliance of which it forms part.

If, however, the translation of the words attributed to you is correct, I must ask whether they constitute the EPP’s official position or your personal opinion.  I am obliged to add, moreover, that your overt solidarity with one sister party at the expense of the two others is a gross violation of ethical standards and an unwarranted interference into Armenia’s internal affairs.

The intervention itself as well as the content of your message are shameful for Europe and the EPP and for all those in Armenia–one of the ancient sources of European civilization–who wish to propagate European values and forge a European-modeled state and society upon our land.

What is more, as you list a variety of abiding democratic principles such as free and fair elections, the rule of law, the fight against corruption, independence of the judiciary and protection of civil rights, you are in fact endorsing the very same party (and its president) which is responsible for forging elections, for applying the law selectively and wrongfully as it (he) sees fit, for corruption, abuse of power, and conflicts of interest from the top down, for the partocratic monopolization of all spheres of public life, for the absolute subjugation of the judiciary to its (his) whims, and for persecuting and imprisoning citizens for the exercise of their freedoms of political expression, assembly, conscience, and constitutional civic activity.  The list is long.

Once again, if the message is truly yours, it translates into a flagrant self-breach of European moral and legal benchmarks, not to mention its blatant violation of–and deleterious and prejudicial partisan impact upon– the electoral process itself, the ongoing campaign and its ultimate results, whether finally clean or once again falsified.  I trust the foregoing will be duly noted in the reports filed by domestic and international monitoring missions including your own.

You have not let Heritage down.  You have let down the Armenian voter, civil society, the EPP and its system of values, the very definition and meaning of what we have known as Europe.

Respectfully yours,

Raffi K. Hovannisian
Chairman, Heritage Party
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs
Republic of Armenia
Yerevan”


Economist: Not pledging anything is also justified

“In developing platforms, political forces demonstrated two extremist approaches in the economic component,” Head of the “Alternative” Research Center said on March 24.

“On the one hand, approaches are based on endless pledges, one the other hand, you cannot find a single pledge. I think the latter is also justified. Our citizens need clarification; they want to know which of the political forces is able to give a more sober assessment of its potential and present a roadmap on how we can achieve success with joint efforts,” Tatul Manaseryan said.

The economist says political forces propose unrealistic and doubtful provisions in their economic programs. “For example, some forces suggest that if Armenia leaves this or that union and joins another one, it will lead to the salvation of the country,” he said.


Paintings of Saviour Church in Gyumri torn

In the morning, Tigran Hakobyan went to Holy Saviour Church in Gyumri to find three paintings torn down. The author worked on the paintings for eight years. He considers it an act of vandalism and says it was committed on purpose.

Holy Saviour Church, one of the symbols of the city, was seriously damaged in the 1988 devastating earthquake and is being restored by the financial assistance of [former Gyumri Mayor] Vardan Ghukasyan and his family.

The church was built in the 1960s.


Adam Barro to perform Komitas and Caccini in Paris

The Armenian Europe Music Awards 2017 will take place on March 16 at the the Zénith de Paris concert hall.

France-based opera singer Adam Barro (Mourad Amirkhanian) says the ceremony was initiated by the Anna Karolina Production and Chahbazian Groupe. The art director and project director is Armen Andrian. The initiative became a reality thanks to his efforts.

Adam Barro will sing “Krunk” by Komitas and “Ave Maria” by Caccini.

The singer considers the upcoming event to be historic and important.

Musicians from Armenia will also take part in the ceremony. The concert will bring together numerous Armenians of France and neighboring countries, as well as artists from Armenia,” Barro said. Adam Barro recently received two international awards from prestigious competitions in Italy and Spain.


Tumanyan residents prefer woman candidate

Residents of Tumanyan, a town in Lori marz (province), pin hopes on a woman candidate.

Lusine Mejlumyan, who is running for parliament on the list of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia, today met with voters of the community.

She is the daughter of Valeri Mejlumyan, Chairman of Vallex Group Companies,.


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