“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” accuses the Constitutional Court of splitting Armenian society. “Emotions will run even higher in the upcoming parliamentary elections. The chairman of the Constitutional Court failed to resist the temptation to hold two water-melons in one hand,” the paper says, citing a popular proverb.
“Do not look for logic in the actions of the Constitutional Court chairman,” “Hayots Ashkhar” tells readers. “Look for self-interest.” The paper accuses Gagik Harutiunian of taking the spoils of the post-election political standoff. Harutiunian is simply trying to enter the political arena. A very cautious person, he must have calculated all consequences of his unexpected move. His call for a “referendum of confidence” has added a new urgent issue to the Armenian political agenda. It will be picked up not only by the Armenian opposition but also “external forces” that want to get rid of President Kocharian. “The stage is being cleared with Gagik Harutiunian’s hands, for Gagik Harutiunian,” “Hayots Ashkhar” concludes.
“The Constitutional Court is beyond the law,” reads a headline in “Yerkir.” The court, it says, has politicized what was a purely judicial matter in breach of its legally defined authority. The court verdict has failed to lay to rest the post-election tensions.
“Aravot,” meanwhile, continues to make the point that the verdict was aimed at “appeasing the opposition and the disgruntled part of the society.” The pro-opposition paper suspects that all this is part of a secret plan hatched by Harutiunian and Kocharian.
“Orran” comes up with a similar conspiracy theory. “The hysterical attack on the Constitutional Court is meant to show that the authorities disagree and are scared, which is good for the opposition,” it claims.
But as “Haykakan Zhamanak” argues, the Constitutional Court “planted a time bomb under Robert Kocharian that can explode at any moment.” “Various government bodies are now trying to assert that the Constitutional Court has overstepped its responsibilities, but it is obvious that their assessments are nothing but an attempt to calm and once again give a pledge of allegiance to Kocharian who has lost his nerve.” Everyone will now have to reckon with Armenia’s highest court. Its election judgment is interpreted by the paper as follows: “Robert Kocharian is not a legitimate president; the country has no legitimate president; the people do not trust that president; and only a referendum can restore the people’s trust in the government.”
“The Constitutional Court has laid the groundwork for regime change,” concedes “Iravunk.” Its decision will have far-reaching ramifications for Kocharian and Armenia. “The most dangerous for Kocharian is the provision that proposes the newly elected National Assembly to organize a referendum of confidence within a year. True, that proposal has no legal force, but ignoring it would mean illegitimacy and loss of moral authority,” the paper writes.