“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the recently elected prefect of Yerevan’s Kanaker-Zeytun district, Ara Kotanjian, was beaten up by the heads of two other municipal districts and their bodyguards in the office of an aide to Yerevan Mayor Yervand Zakharian. The paper says Kotanjian was assaulted after he refused to stop seeking criminal proceedings against his predecessor Ruben Sinoyan who had allegedly embezzled 85 million drams ($170,000) in public funds. The paper says the beating was started by Mher Sedrakian, the chief executive of the city’s Erebuni district.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says reports of vote rigging that tainted the parliamentary election in Azerbaijan have weakened President Ilham Aliev and could again thrust the Karabakh peace process into deadlock.
“Aravot” is unimpressed by the Armenian opposition’s decision to call for a popular boycott of the upcoming referendum. “Of course, it is easier to sit on a sofa, complain about life and do nothing, saying that is a boycott,” editorializes the paper. A real citizen would not behave like that, it says. “Of course, it is good that people [in the opposition] finally managed to make a common decision,” deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian is quoted as saying. “But it is very unfortunate that it took them months to do that.”
But according to “Haykakan Zhamanak,” the opposition move makes it “very difficult” for the ruling regime to pass the constitutional amendments. “Only those say ‘yes’ will go to the referendum,” writes the paper. The authorities will need at least 450,000 such votes. The paper also says an opposition boycott of electoral commissions would call into question the legitimacy of the referendum.
“Hayots Ashkhar” attacks the former ruling Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh) over its vocal opposition to constitutional reform. The paper says at the same time that the HHSh has long ceased to have serious influence on political processes in Armenia.
“Aravot” reports that a female student of a college in the town of Ijevan was kidnapped by a young man who wanted to marry her shortly before a meeting between local students and politicians from Yerevan campaigning for a “yes” vote. The paper says one of those politicians, Ernest Soghomonian, welcomed “the birth of a new family in Ijevan” after it turned out that the kidnapper is also a student. “Politics comes and goes, while love persists,” Soghomonian declared at the meeting.