“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the National Unity Party (AMK) of Artashes Geghamian will end its boycott of parliament sessions to attend upcoming debates on amendments to Armenia’s constitution. “It would be a bit weird if we do not defend in the National Assembly our views which the authorities were forced to accept as a result of cooperation between the opposition and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe,” Geghamian is quoted as saying.
“If we don’t set an example and don’t accept the call addressed to us by the PACE we will not be able to demand the same from the authorities,” another AMK leader, Aleksan Karapetian, tells “Aravot.”
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” quotes deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian as saying that both pro-government and opposition members of the Armenian delegation at the PACE “worked together” at Thursday’s debate in Strasbourg on constitutional reform in Armenia. Torosian says that cooperation may have laid the groundwork for a dialogue between the Armenian government and the opposition.
“Ayb-Fe” notes in this regard that the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission has become a “kind of an Armenian-Armenian reconciliation commission.”
“Aravot” editorializes that the Armenian authorities are now playing ping-pong with the Venice Commission. “The Venice Commission writes one thing, while the authorities write another thing and send it back,” explains the paper. “Then the ball bounces back to our side. The Europeans have called this situation ping-pong and called for an end to the game.”
In an interview with “Iravunk,” Nagorno-Karabakh’s former military chief, Samvel Babayan, says direct negotiations between Stepanakert and Baku are the best the way to resolve the Karabakh dispute. He says Karabakh and surrounding Armenian-controlled territories should be placed under “the mandate of authoritative international organizations” during those negotiations. “I find a demilitarization of our region, an absolute absence of troops from third countries very important,” he adds. “As a result, our society will fully rid itself of the complex of securing borders with the help of aliens.” Babayan also lambastes those who say that Armenians are not prepared for serious political reform.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that Turkish and Azerbaijani media are “delighted” with Dashnaktsutyun’s strong criticism of the weekend parliamentary election in Karabakh. The paper says they have heavily quoted Dashnaktsutyun statements to make the point that Karabakh is no more democratic than Azerbaijan.
“Yerkir,” meanwhile, carries a commentary by another Dashnaktsutyun publication which describes the Karabakh vote as an “important victory for the Armenians in terms of strengthening democracy in liberated Artsakh.”
“Aravot” says that Justice Minister David Harutiunian, who played a major role in the controversial selection of K-Telecom as Armenia’s second mobile operator, and his family spent their vacation in Lebanon at a villa belonging to Pierre Fattouch, the main owner of the Lebanese telecom operator.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says K-Telecom was granted its mobile telephony license shortly after that “mysterious vacation.”