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From word to action: Two Armenian officials step down in apparent ‘anti-corruption purge’
By Gayane Mkrtchyan- ArmeniaNow reporter
Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan has accepted the resignations of two senior ministry officials less than a week after publicly scolding several cabinet members over corruption in their sectors and urging them to clamp down on the social malady.

A government report on Tuesday said that deputy health ministers Tatul Hakobyan and Abraham Manukyan tendered their letters of resignation of their own will and that the prime minister relieved both of their duties. The report did not explicitly mention the reasons for the moves.
At the November 4 Cabinet meeting Premier Sargsyan severely criticized some ministers, in particular, the ministers of health and education, accusing them of poor work which, he said, led to the increased corruption in these sectors. “An assignment to the minister of health: serious complaints reach us about corruption cases in the healthcare sector, hence, submit proposals to the prime minister, even make personnel changes, from staff heads to deputy ministers, who either participate in those corruption cases or do not fight against them properly,” Sargsyan said. The prime minister said the materials, which had already become available for the public, as well as their analyses and the work done by surveillance services adjacent to him, confirm that corruption had become more profound. According to Sargsyan, the personnel changes are simply the first steps, and if the situation is not settled, they will take even more drastic steps. Political analyst Yervand Bozoyan, however, remains skeptical about the prospect of solving problems by means of personnel changes. “Not only ministries are ‘buried’ into corruption. The whole state machinery is infected with this disease. And it is hard to say whether these authorities would have enough political will to make serious changes,” Bozoyan says.


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