On the sixth anniversary of the adoption of Armenia’s post-Soviet constitution, which is a public holiday, “Zhamanak” laments that the event is still not marked “with all due respect.” For all its shortcomings, the 1995 constitution has been essential for political stability. “The past several years have shown that it does not impede the country’s development.”
“The constitution day has never become a holiday,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” The endless debates over the merits and drawbacks of the basic law are meaningless because they are part of the ongoing political struggle. Those who support or oppose the constitution do so primarily because of their vested interests. The political forces must first of all tackle what the paper describes as a “widespread disrespect of laws.”
“If we, citizens of Armenia, ensure realization of the provisions laid down in the constitution, very soon we will have a really sovereign, democratic, social and rule-of-law state,” says “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “All we need to do is to obey our own rules of the game and be consistent in pursuing our ideas in practice.”
“Aravot” deplores what it says is a “return to Communist symbols” in Armenia. It blames those Armenians who point only to the negative sides of the past ten years and are “spreading hatred towards our independence.” In another commentary, the paper defends the opposition Hanrapetutyun party against attacks from pro-government politicians and media.
Hanrapetutyun leader Albert Bazeyan, who has claimed recently that President Robert Kocharian and the late Vazgen Sarkisian had serious disagreements, is criticized by one of his former allies. Interviewed by “Yerkir,” Tigran Torosian, the deputy speaker of the parliament, says Bazeyan is “editing the past.” He also urges Hanrapetutyun leaders not to be manipulated by politicians who have only one goal: “to stir trouble.” “It is very evident that an anti-presidential force is now in the making,” Torosian says.
“Zhamanak” writes that political parties not represented in the government are wrong to believe that they will draw serious benefits from the possible collapse of the Miasnutyun bloc. They hope that the prospect of the formation of a new parliamentary majority will increase their clout. But this will by no means be the case.
“Azg” and “Haykakan Zhamanak” report that the upcoming cabinet reshuffle will also affect the so-called “power ministries.” The head of Kocharian’s oversight service, Felix Tsolakian, is expected to be named minister of national security. The current head of the ex-KGB, Karlos Petrosian, looks set to take over the ministry of interior.