Freedom of Information Center of Armenia.

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Some of the parties participating in elections do not disclose financial reports


On the eve of the May 31 Yerevan city council elections, the Freedom of Information Center (FOI Center) decided to find out how willing are the participating parties and party alliances to work in an open and transparent fashion.

To this end, FOI Center sent out information requests to the parties participating in the upcoming elections: the Armenian Republican Party (ARP), the Armenian Revolutionary Federation/Dashnaktsutyun (ARF/D), Rule of Law Party (RL), People’s Party (PP), the Armenian Labor Socialist Party (ALSP), Prosperous Armenia Party (PA) and the Armenian National Congress (ANC). FOI Center requested copies of each party’s financial reports for 2008 and information on sources of donations in excess of 100 times the minimum wage, as required by law.

Only ARF/D and ARP replied within five days as required by Freedom of Information Law (FOI Law). In both cases, the replies were handed over by each party’s relevant officials in person, in a proper way.

PP (Tigran Karapetyan’s party) “replied” by phone, saying that they are not required to provide that information, that it’s none of our business and that our organization is engaged in producing extra paperwork, etc. When we informed them that ARF/D and ARP replied to our requests and reminded them that we can go to a court if the requested information is not provided, the party sent a written reply. However, PP’s reply was incomplete: we had requested information on sources of donations in excess of 100 times the minimum wage, as required by law; the party’s reply contained information about receiving a 500,000 AMD donation, but the source was not disclosed.

ARP received only one donation in excess of 100 times the minimum wage. Kapan TchShSh Limited Liability Company donated 6,785.0 thousand AMD.

ARF/D received donations in excess of 100 times the minimum wage from two natural persons – Karina Kandaryan (10,000,000 AMD) and Gagik Gevorgyan – (15,000,000 AMD).

The results are as follows: 7 requests for information sent, 2 replies received on time (ARF/D and ARP), one late and incomplete reply (PP) and 4 requests ignored (PA, RL, ALSP and ANC).

Openness, transparency and accountability before the public are one of the main points in every political party’s campaign platforms. However, this study shows that facts actually contradict all the attractive words.

ARF/D’s 2008 financial report can be accessed on the FOI Center’s website here, while ARP’s financial report is published in the Hayots Ashkharh daily newspaper’s March 18, 2009 edition (N72/2872).

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