Council to Tackle Corruption in Armenia

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–The formation of a special commission to oversee the implementation of a government program to tackle rampant corruption in Armenia–was announced by President Robert Kocharian on Wednesday.

The body–formally named the Council on Fighting Corruption–will be headed by Prime Minister Andranik Margarian and includes Justice Minister David Harutiunian–Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian–and Central Bank Chairman Tigran Sarkisian.

The commission will coordinate the implementation of the government’s anti-corruption program drawn up by a team of government experts last November.

Funded by the World Bank–the three-year program contains legislative measures that would complicate endemic bribery–nepotism–and other corrupt practices.

Kocharian’s special anti-corruption adviser–Bagrat Yesayan warned last year that corruption in Armenia "has reached a point where it threatens our national security."

Member of the ruling coalition government–the Armenian Revolutionary Federation–of which Yesayan is a member–had for months been pushing for the creation of a body to deal with the problem.

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