The reaction of Armenian newspapers to the changes in the electoral system approved by the parliament on Wednesday is overwhelmingly negative.
“Aravot” believes that the governing Republican Party (HHK) simply “sold out” two dozen parliament seats, which were due to be distributed under the proportional representation system, to non-partisan deputies in exchange for their consent to the imposition of sanctions against unruly lawmakers. “Thus, the ruling party has once again discredited and damaged primarily itself,” the paper concludes.
“The parliament majority proves its lack of stamina,” reads a headline in “Azg.”
“Orran” says no one should be surprised with the outcome of Wednesday’s parliament votes. This legislature could not come up with solutions more beneficial for the country. Most of its members are now concerned with ensuring their reelection next year. This requires some “political trading.” Never mind that it is to the detriment of the people.
“Or” focuses on growing differences among political forces supporting President Kocharian. The paper says the HHK views other pro-Kocharian groups as rivals and is conscious of its lack of popularity. As for Kocharian and his entourage, they don’t seem to care “how forces supporting them will enter the next parliament.”
“Aravot” claims that Kocharian should be unhappy with Prime Minister Andranik Markarian’s publicly voiced belief that the 1999 parliament massacre had powerful masterminds. The pro-Kocharian media has tried all along to persuade the public that Nairi Hunanian and his henchmen are revolutionary romantics who acted alone. Markarian’s court testimony called that theory into question.
Meanwhile, the mother of the slain prime minister Vazgen Sarkisian tells “Orran” that the parliament shootings trial has turned into a “show” that will not establish the truth about the tragedy. “These authorities stand by that scum, providing them with some services,” Greta Sarkisian claims. The authorities, she says, have demonstrated that “they had some involvement and were informed about everything.” “As long as these authorities, this president rule Armenia, the trial will not reveal those who are really guilty,” she says.
“Hayots Ashkhar” dismisses speculation that only the presidential candidate who enjoys the backing of major foreign powers can win next year’s elections. Those who are spreading such rumors want the people to believe that their votes will not make a difference. “At the end of the day, it is we, citizens of this country, who will make a choice,” the paper writes, adding that the superpowers “always say Yes” to legitimate election winners.