Wednesday’s brawl between Minister for Local Government Hovik Abrahamian and parliament deputy Aramayis Grigorian makes front-page headlines in most Armenian newspapers.
“Parliament deputies confused, Hovik Abrahamian knocked down,” reads a headline in “Azg.” The paper suggests that Abrahamian and Grigorian quarreled about “who is more powerful.”
“168 Zham” reports that after exchanging the first blows the two men moved to another part of the parliament building to avoid being seen by the parliament press corps. “There is no money, man,” journalists heard Abrahamian’s shouting. The paper says the fight broke out because Abrahamian did not like a question regarding excise duty stamps for alcoholic drinks which was asked by Grigorian during the government’s question-and-answer session in the National Assembly.
According to “Haykakan Zhamanak,” Justice Minister David Harutiunian believes that the planned mass dance around Armenia’s highest mountain is technically a rally and its organizers therefore have to officially notify local authorities about the undertaking. But the paper says Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian and other organizers argue that the show is more like a football game which is attended by thousands of spectators and does not require prior notification. “We can use the same logic to say that those who hold rallies or marches can also compare themselves to football fans,” it says.
“Aravot” reports that the leadership of the Armenian parliament will ask Venice Commission of the Council of Europe to pass judgment on Armenia’s newly amended election law. “I can say for certain that their evaluations have considerably softened during over time,” deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian tells the paper. But he admits that Yerevan has not addressed all of the Venice Commission concerns about the freedom and fairness of future Armenian elections.
“168 Zham” claims that the draft amendments to Armenia’s constitution approved by parliament would only increase President Robert Kocharian’s sweeping powers and would all but turn him into a “king.”