The head of Goris community, parliamentary candidate Arush Arushanyan significantly increased the financial assistance provided to the residents before the snap parliamentary elections.
The mayor is a member of the board of the “Reviving Armenia” party created by the former governor of Syunik Vahe Hakobyan. The party joined the “Armenia” bloc led by the second president Robert Kocharyan in May 2021. Arushanyan is the 32nd in the list of candidates of the bloc.
It should be noted that on March 18, 2021 acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced his readiness to hold elections.
Suspicious increase in money allocations by Goris municipality
Goris, with a population of 29,509, is an enlarged community: in addition to the city of the same name, it includes 12 settlements.
The study of the decisions of the mayor of Goris shows that especially in the last 3 months, compared to the previous period, the financial aid to the residents of the community has sharply increased.
Thus, from January 2020 until the war that started on September 27, 306 people were provided with financial assistance in the amount of 15 million 335 thousand drams. It is noteworthy that in many cases the same person received assistance several times.
During the war and even after that, until March 18, 2021 ( 6 months) aid was provided in the amount of 19 million 140 thousand drams to 240 people.
And after Nikol Pashinyan announced about the snap elections in June, these figures rose sharply. Thus, in the period from March 30 to June 15 (within about 2.5 months), 22 million 930 thousand drams of financial aid was provided to 275 residents.
It is noteworthy that in the community budget for 2021, which amounts to 1 billion 980 million drams, redistributions in the amount of 11 million drams have been made three times since March, directing the money from other programs to provide financial aid.
It is noteworthy that in other large communities of Syunik region, Kapan (population: 45,146) and Meghri (population: 11,724), with the budget of 4 billion 931 million drams and 1 billion 73 million drams respectively, financial aid is much less than in Goris.
For example, in Kapan, which has become a borderline community, after March 18, 2 million 310 thousand drams of aid was provided to the residents.
Meanwhile in Meghri, the least assistance was provided from the three communities. Thus, from the beginning of last year until today, by the decision of the mayor, assistance of 1 million 191 thousand drams has been provided to 39 people.
Moreover, if in Kapan or Meghri each person was provided with assistance mainly in the range of 20-50 thousand drams, in Goris those allocations are several times higher, reaching several hundred thousand per person.
The municipality uses administrative leverage
The Fact Investigation Platform had received information that several principals of community kindergartens had been instructed to attend the rally held by Hayastan Alliance on June 8 rally in Goris to ensure high participation.
In order to check the information, we called the director of Goris Kindergarten No. 7, Karine Minasyan and, introducing ourselves as Robert Kocharyan’s security officer, we tried to find out whether the principals had such an instruction or not.
With this phone call we found out that the directors indeed received such an instruction.
In response to the enquiry of receiving the list of participants, the director of the kindergarten said that she would do it after talking to some people: “After I call them and tell them.”
Կարինե Մինասյանն իր խոսքում հայտնեց, որ հանրահավաքին մասնակցողները կանայք են։
In her speech, Karine Minasyan said that the participants in the rally are women.
The recording is below.
After this phone call, we started receiving calls from Menua Hovsepyan, the deputy mayor of Goris, and Edmon Arakelyan, a former employee of the municipality (the indentiy of the callers was revealed through a program Getcontact). Thus, it became obvious that the instruction to the directors of the kindergartens to participate in the rally was from the Goris community hall.
Political moods in Goris community hall
Goris has been headed by former Republican Arush Arushanyan since 2017. After the war, he chas been carrying out obvious anti-government activities.
By the way, in June 2020, Hetq news outlet wrote that 30-year-old Arushanyan is the richest mayor of Armenia after the mayor of Yerevan.
On June 14, 2021, the mayor of Goris was charged with abuse of power, engaging in illegal business, violating the rules of subsoil protection and use, self-righteous actions, and intentionally causing moderate damage to health.
Thus, it is obvious that administrative resources are being misused in Goris before the snap elections. This is evidenced by both the sharp increase in financial aid in the community and instructing kindergarten principals to participate in rallies.