(Saturday, July 9)
“Golos Armenii” says that the October local elections will be the greatest test of the unity of Armenia’s governing coalition. The three parties represented in it “will hardly manage to avoid a clash of interests,” says the paper. “But the greatest responsibility will be to organize and hold the November referendum on amendments in the existing constitution.” The paper says a government reshuffle may well be on the cards.
Several papers quote Nagorno-Karabakh President Arkady Ghukasian as criticizing Goran Lennmarker, the Karabakh rapporteur of the OSCE’s Parliamentary Assembly, for stating that Europe should not allow the emergence of new “dwarf states.” “If the Europeans followed that logic, they would have to start a fight against the independence of Monaco or Luxemburg,” argues Ghukasian.
Meanwhile, President Robert Kocharian, according to “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun,” has praised Lennmarker’s report on the Karabakh conflict that was submitted to the Parliamentary Assembly session in Washington earlier this month. Kocharian believes that the report is “balanced,” reports the paper.
“Hayots Ashkhar” likewise heaps praise on Lennmarker, saying that his report compares very favorably to the Karabakh-related resolution adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe last January. The paper claims at the same time that both documents were meant to put pressure on the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides.
“Hayots Ashkhar” also writes that at the heart of current Karabakh peace talks is the so-called idea of “delayed referendum” of independence that will eventually be held in the disputed region. The pro-Kocharian daily says this formula “seems to enable to reconcile the parties’ diametrically opposite positions on Karabakh’s status.”
Interviewed by “Haykakan Zhamanak,” the chairman of the Armenian parliament’s legal affairs committee, Rafik Petrosian, again accuses deputy speaker Tigran Torosian of bungling efforts at constitutional reform in Armenia. Petrosian complains that even he is unaware of the latest changes in Kocharian’s constitutional package that were sent to Strasbourg last week. “The draft has already been sent and the parliament has no idea about the final text,” he says. Petrosian says all of this is leading him to believe that “there is a purpose to botch [reform of] the constitution.” The constitution and the proposed amendments are “so flawed that university jurists are laughing at that draft,” he adds.
“Hardly anyone doubts that Midland Resources has sold the Armenian Electricity Networks,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “That they sold it with the unpublicized blessing of our government is also beyond doubt.”