“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” is scathing about the opposition’s plans to end its boycott of parliament. “The [Artarutyun] alliance now justifies its change of principles with public demand,” writes the government paper. “It is possible, though, that opposition voters have proved more prudent that their ‘elected representatives.’”
According to “Aravot,” Hovannes Hovannisian, the leader of the opposition Liberal Progressive Party which is not represented in parliament, hopes that Artarutyun and the National Unity Party will not end the boycott. Hovannisian argues that none of the demands that led to the boycott has been met by the authorities. Besides, he says, “serious political processes relating to constitutional reforms are expected in the country and the opposition must stick to its tough stance.”
Interviewed by “Haykakan Zhamanak,” opposition leader Aram Sarkisian again downplays the scandalous resignation of seven senior members of his Hanrapetutyun party. “It was their decision and I don’t want to comment on their decision. I can only say one thing: choosing a deadlock for justifying inactivity is not my style.”
But as “Hayots Ashkhar” writes, Hanrapetutyun has found itself “in deadlock.”
“Aravot” criticizes one of the proposed constitutional amendments that would allow all members of the National Commission on Television and Radio to complete their legally defined tenures. The paper quotes constitutional law expert Vartan Poghosian as saying that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has repeatedly called for serious changes in the way the commission is formed. The constitutional reform would lead to such changes but Poghosian wonders why its entry into force is delayed. “Can we see any progress here? Of course not,” he says.
“168 Zham” reports that President Robert Kocharian’s Oversight Service suspects that tens of thousands of mobile handsets have been smuggled into Armenia since the launch of the second wireless network on July 1. The paper says officials from the service have inspected documents of the State Customs Committee and found no increase in the number of phones imported into the country in the last two months. VivaCell, the second mobile phone operator, has attracted about 100,000 subscribers during that period. “According to our sources, the presidential oversight service has established that large quantities of cellular phones have been smuggled to Armenia,” says the paper.
“Aravot” reports that one of the candidates in the upcoming local election in Yerevan’s northern Kanaker-Zeytun district, businessman Ara Kotanjian, has chosen a highly peculiar, if not amusing, slogan: “Self-government in a businessman’s hands.”