"Aravot" emphasizes that the three-party ruling coalition - the author of constitutional amendments - does not have the courage to admit their unwillingness to make the constitution more democratic. According to the paper, the real reason is that the Venice Commission's proposals are aimed at weakening the factually authoritarian regime. They frankly want us to become "new neighbors" and we, apart from verbal whitewashing, remain old Bolsheviks.
According to "Haykakan Zhamanak", during the coalition's consultations with President Robert Kocharian on Wednesday, the sides partially accepted the Venice Commission's proposals regarding amendments to the Armenian Constitution. The paper has information that it was decided to remove from the Constitution the provision concerning the status of Yerevan's mayor and include a passage saying that this issue is to be regulated by legislation.
Kocharian agreed to concessions in the matter of appointing senior judges, that is that they should be appointed not by the president by elected through secret ballot by the Justice Council itself. As for the role of the National Assembly in forming the government, the possibility of introducing the Romanian or Polish models in Armenia was discussed.
Deputy Parliament Speaker Tigran Torosian tells "Aravot" that during the consultations "solutions have been found in all three directions" that he thinks they are "consistent with European standards."
"168 Zham" writes that "it is all the same to the authorities, in
particular to [President] Robert Kocharian, what European structures' final assessment of the constitutional amendments will be."
"After the 2003 presidential elections the same Europeans declared that the elections fell short of European standards," writes the paper. "Similarly, the constitutional amendments may fall short of European standards as well and later be adopted through a referendum falling short of these standards to the same degree." The paper notes with irony that "it is important that the amendments correspond to [our] national mentality."
Discussing the upcoming parliamentary elections in Karabakh, "Hayots
Ashkharh" writes: "The statements by some political forces involved in the electioneering about pressures, violations of human rights and electoral bribes are unacceptable. The coming elections will decide the fate of the Karabakh people. In the current situation, Karabakh must prove its ability to hold much freer, fairer and more transparent elections than Azerbaijan and even Armenia."
In conclusion the paper makes the point that on June 19 the people of Karabakh will not only determine the names of a few dozen MPs, but will also clearly prove to the whole world that they have already built a democratic country.
"Haykakan Zhamanak" writes that opposition Hanrapetutyun party leader Aram Sarkisian is likely to quit the opposition Ardarutyun (Justice) bloc and give up his parliamentary mandate on his return from the United States. According to information reported to the paper from the U.S., Sarkisian declared that from now on, unlike Ardarutyun bloc leader Stepan Demirchian, who is a proponent of a power change in a constitutional way, the Hanrapetutyun party supported by allies will demonstratively engage in a struggle to achieve a regime change through a revolution.
Speaking of the possibility of pre-term [presidential] elections, Stepan Demirchian says in a "Golos Armenii" interview: "I notice that there is such public demand, and realizing our responsibility we will do all in our power for constitutional order to be established in the country as soon as possible."
"We will dance for five days with 50,000 people around the Presidential Palace and will achieve what we want," "Aravot" quotes "New Times" party leader Aram Karapetian as telling a public rally on 15 June.
According to Karapetian, negotiations among the various opposition forces will start in mid-July, and already in September the opposition will appear in a new format. He adds that the revolution in Armenia will take place as soon as this fall, referring to "political developments outside Armenia."