The country's parliament has criminalized bribery for the pre-election period
Gagik Tsarukyan, leader of the Prosperous Armenia party and one of the richest people in Armenia, is not going to bribe voters in the upcoming elections for the Council of Elders of Yerevan. Tsarukyan said he was ready for the strictest punishment if caught handing out bribes:
“Why should I give out money? So that my candidate, Naira Zohrabyan, can become mayor and benefit from it? I am ready to make funds available so that she can implement projects, including solving the issue with garbage disposal,” Tsarukyan said.
Like all other citizens of Armenia, he will not be able to engage in charity during the pre-election period. In previous elections at various levels, many accused the Prosperous Armenia party of buying votes under the guise of patronage.
The oligarch’s statements were made public immediately after the National Assembly of Armenia unanimously approved a package of amendments proposed by the government in the legislation criminalizing pre-election bribes. Criminal responsibility will now be borne not only by those who hand out bribes, but also those who receive them.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated earlier that he intends to hold ‘impeccable’ elections, which will not cause anyone any doubt about their fairness.
The package of legislative changes was hastily adopted by the Armenian parliament on the eve of the 23 September elections to the Council of Elders.