“In other countries this holiday is marked at the highest state level, with a lot of public enthusiasm because their peoples see their basic law not only as a symbol of freedom and independence but also consider the constitution the main guarantee of the protection of civil rights and freedoms,” writes “Zhamanak Yerevan.” “Under Robert Kocharian’s rule, Constitution Day has become one of the holidays that are hardly remembered, if not neglected. The public [in Armenia] also does not regard this as its own holiday mainly because in its day-to-day life it sees how the constitution and laws are overturned by the omnipotent impunity of some people.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reiterates its view that Kocharian became president in 1998 in violation of the Armenian constitution. The paper claims that he may breach it again to seek a third term in office in 2008.
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” says the Armenian constitution is becoming increasingly “understandable for the society which consists of the people, the government, the opposition and every individual in general.” The government-funded paper asserts that the constitutional provision declaring that “power in the Republic of Armenia belongs to the people” exists not only on paper.
Gagik Harutiunian, chairman of the Constitutional Court, tells “Zhamanak Yerevan” that he “frequently” meets and maintains a warm rapport with former President Levon Ter-Petrosian who had enacted the constitution in 1995. He says he discusses with Ter-Petrosian “issues relating to our state, its future.” Harutiunian is quick to add that he is “just as sincere in my attitude toward Robert Kocharian.” “There have been many cases where I disagreed with him on issues under discussion,” he says. “As a result, President Kocharian has said that my arguments are correct.”
In an interview with “Haykakan Zhamanak,” the U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, Matthew Bryza, says it would be “great” if the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan decided to meet again on the sidelines of the upcoming G8 summit in Saint Petersburg. “We would definitely welcome that step,” he is quoted as saying. Bryza adds that such a meeting requires a formal invitation from G8 countries and Russia in particular. Bryza does not deny the widely held belief that the outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Evans, was recalled by Washington because of his public recognition of the Armenian genocide. He makes it clear that Bryza should not have made statements contradicting the Bush administration’s position on the issue. “People also say that he is being dismissed from the [U.S.] diplomatic service. That is not correct,” he says.
Parliament speaker Tigran Torosian tells “Aravot” that the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), of which he is the deputy chairman, believes that the Karabakh mediators’ most recent peace proposals are largely acceptable to the Armenian side. Torosian says the proposals uphold the Karabakh Armenians’ right to self-determination.
“Hayots Ashkhar” looks forward to Kocharian’s visit to Tehran, pointing to a “broad range of mutual [Armenian-Iranian] interests in both the political and economic areas.”