In July, someone said “that positions of power in Armenia could only be obtained after payment, and that there was even a scale of charges operating.” Does that sound about right? I have heard stories of the prices paid to become a police officer or a certain level at a ministry for example.
What I didn’t mention about the quote above though is that it’s from July 1987, in Soviet Armenia. Here’s the entire quote from Christopher Walker’s book:
Changes [...] appeared inevitable in Armenia after the plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, held in June 1987, in which criticism was expressed by M. S. Gorbachev against the operation of the party in Armenia. It was, he said, ‘stuck in a rut’. The following month an Armenian regional Communist Party official, Haik Kotanjian, echoed this criticism, adding that positions of power in Armenia could only be obtained after payment, and that there was even a scale of charges operating. He suggested that Karen Demirjian, First Secretary of the Central Committee, should voluntarily transfer to different work. His speech, which was reported in the local party newspaper, Sovetakan Hayastan, was not popular; at the meeting he was shouted down. The criticism was repeated in a speech in January 1988, and given wide publicity in Pravda, in the issue of 18 January. For the first time the top ranks, or nomenklatura, of an entire local party were being criticized.
Does it sound like we’re stuck on a broken record? Parliamentary elections are next month. Let’s see if there’s some progress…