In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” prominent Soviet-era dissident Paruyr Hayrikian calls opposition efforts to use the constitutional referendum for another attempt at regime change “ridiculous.” Hayrikian also says his Self-Determination Union party deserves most of the credit for the amendments which were put to the referendum.
“While the people protested in 2003, they are furious now,” Aram G. Sargsian of the opposition Democratic Party tells “Aravot.” “This is particularly evident in villages. People there have nothing to lose and are prepared to rise up and defend their rights without fear. They don’t even want us to explain constitutional provisions and to tell them why they need to say ‘no.’”
“Azg” quotes Energy Minister Armen Movsisian as saying that the United States is ready to help Armenia build a new nuclear reactor. Movsisian says the new facility would require between $600 million and $800 million in funding. The paper says Movsisian discussed the matter during a recent visit to Washington. The ongoing construction of the Iran-Armenian gas pipeline was also on the agenda of his talks with U.S. officials, it says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the opposition Artarutyun bloc and the National Unity Party will urge parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian to ask the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to monitor the November 27 referendum. The paper notes that the OSCE has made it clear that it can not monitor the vote without an official invitation.
“It is obvious that after these elections Azerbaijan will not be able to expect qualitative changes in its relations with European structures in the next four or five years,” deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” As for Armenia, Torosian believes that it now has a “unique chance to lay the groundwork for new relations with European structures.” “That is the referendum on constitutional changes,” he says. “Its success is a necessary guarantee of those relations.”
“If the post of Yerevan mayor becomes elected there can be no doubt that the residents of Yerevan will only benefit from that,” writes “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun.” “The simplest logic suggests that in that case the people will elect someone who puts the city and its resident at the center of his attention.”
“Aravot” reports that the relevant draft amendment to the Armenian constitution is supported even by the director of the Yerevan zoo, Sahak Abovian. He says an elected mayor would “look more kindly at the zoo” and allocate more funds to its work.