"Why do we need this National Assembly?" asks "Hayots Ashkhar" in a commentary meant to prove that Armenia does not need to be turned into a parliamentary republic. "Parliamentary governance has many positive sides. But it should be established only after a parliament…proves that it is able to offer the society more than cheerful enthusiasm." The paper says many members of the current legislature have undergone "moral degradation."
"Yerkir" also attacks the parliament. "Our legislative body is sliding into chaos and lawlessness day by day, galvanizing politicians that rub their hands in anticipation of instability. The parliament, some of its members, are digging a hole from which it will be impossible to get out."
"Yerkir" is also very critical of a bill on political parties pending debate in the parliament. It says the legislation favors the ruling force, giving the government leverage against political organizations.
A leader of that force, Galust Sahakian, speaks of an unprecedented influx of new members into his Republican Party (HHK), in an interview with "Zhamanak." Sahakian says so high is the number of Armenians knocking on the doors of the HHK that the Republicans may need to screen their "biographies."
"Haykakan Zhamanak" reports that another Republican leader, Tigran Torosian, on Friday held a lengthy meeting with Stepan Demirchian, chairman of the formerly allied People's Party (HZhK). The two men discussed, among other things, the abolition of the death penalty. A HZhK spokeswoman says the two parties agree that the Council of Europe should allow Armenia to "make an exception" for the perpetrators of the 1999 parliament shootings. The paper describes their stance as "naive."
"Yerkir" tries to find an explanation for widespread public apathy with politics. "The public has realized that the vast majority of political forces can not be trusted and do not act for the common good because they are guided by their parochial interests and a lust for power...The people are confident that laws are not enforced in the interests of ordinary citizens." No wonder that they do not care about ways of amending the
"Aravot" dismisses President Kocharian's assurances that the controversial bill on mass media will not be passed without being approved by the Council of Europe. "Kocharian leaves key issues in democracy-building in our country at the discretion of European experts, and, in essence, it turns out that the attitude of Armenian journalists, domestic public opinion or even the National Assembly does not count," it says.