President Robert Kocharian's decree to demote former Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutyunian from Lieutenant General to Major General, was unconstitutional, 'Aravot' writes. According to the Armenian constitution, the president can award medals and other titles of distinction to promote military personal, but the constitution contains no reference on taking back medals of honor or military titles. The paper describes Kocharian's decree to demote General Vagharshak Harutyunian as cheap provincial revenge.
'Orran' speculates on possible motives behind the president's decision to demote General Vagharshak Harurtyunian. Kocharian wanted to make it clear to other generals that if he could take back a military rank he had not given, then he would surely take back the
awards that have come from him.
'Orran' quotes the first post-independence Armenian foreign Minister Raffi Hovhanessian, who says that after obtaining Armenian citizenship he can now take part in the election campaign as a candidate. "Now I have equal rights with others". According to Raffi Hovhanessian it is more than important to have a single opposition candidate for the upcoming presidential election next year. "I hope that there could be a common idea for a would be single candidate, who could envisage a direction for Armenia's future", Hovhanessian tells "Orran", suggesting that a single candidate should instill hope and belief in the people.
"Aravot" quoting well-informed sources says, that the pre-election
campaign of President Robert Kocharain will be headed by Hovik Abrahamian, a Minister who coordinates the management of regions and industrial infrastructures. The paper suggests that the main reason behind this decision is that the minister has broad powers in the Armenian government, as well as a huge influence in various regions of the country.
Speaking to "Hayots Askharh", the deputy-speaker of the Armenian Parliament and one of the leaders of the 'Hanrapetakan' party, Tigran Torossian says that today there is great cooperation between the different branches of the government and thus if nothing extraordinary happens in future, it would not be difficult to predict which candidate would get support of the 'Hanrapetakan' party. 'Everything is so clear that there is no need for further comment" , Torossian says, hinting that his party will support incumbent president Robert Kocharian.
"If we try to elect deputies twho are similar to today's legislators in the Armenian parliament, then for another four years we will postpone the process of improving our legislature and reducing corruption, 'Azg' daily writes in its editorial.
Forty percent of Armenia's population has had an intention to emigrate from the country and 16 percent wants to emigrate in the next 5 years, IMF's representative Karbis Iradian tells 'Or'. According to the statistics published in 'Or', almost 900,000 Armenians left the country during the last 10 years, which is 25 percent of the total population.