“Aravot” takes the view that Armenia’s civil service can not be reformed merely by laws. This is why it believes that the recently adopted law on civil service will not make a difference. The new Civil Service Council can not ensure the independence of the state bureaucracy because it is too weak and dependent on the head of state. President Robert Kocharian and his future successors are empowered appoint and dismiss the council’s seven members.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” sees more and more “common interests” uniting Prime Minister Andranik Markarian and Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian. The two men are interested in limiting the influence of the pro-presidential Dashnaktsutyun party. But this is not the only factor that unites them. Sarkisian, contrary to the widely held belief, does not want to become prime minister. That would be too big a headache for the already powerful defense chief, the paper argues. Markarian, on the other hand, is keen to keep his job as long as possible.
“Azg” quotes Robert Kocharian’s chief economic adviser as saying that Armenia can boast an “open and competitive economy.” Vahram Nercissiantz says the country has also improved its business image. But the Armenian-American economist also repeats his concerns about growing social polarization and the low level of public spending. Nercissiantz says “a more just distribution of incomes” is vital for economic development. He further criticizes Finance Minister Vartan Khachatrian for his recent verbal attacks on the International Monetary Fund and other lending institutions. “Such unrestrained statements are unacceptable both in terms of their form and content,” he says.
“Hayots Ashkhar” runs an editorial on capital punishment in Armenia. The paper believes that “sooner or later” Armenia will have to abolish the death penalty in accordance with its Council of Europe obligations. But doing so now would be “premature” as most Armenians, according to the paper, are not prepared for such measure.