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Press Review


In an editorial on Armenia’s Constitution Day marked on July 5, “Aravot” asserts that constitutional referendums held in the country in 1995 and 2005 were rigged. “Does that mean the constitution must not work in Armenia and that its provisions must not be respected? No, it does not because if you don’t respect the basic and other laws you can not speak of rights and justice.”

The paper says the president of the republic and other officials elected by fraudulent means should also be respected by citizens “as an institution, as one of the important components of our state.” “Of course, one can fully reject their policies, one can also note that they were not elected. But disrespecting them means you don’t respect yourself, as a citizen, either,” it concludes.

“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says hardly anyone in Armenia views July 5 as a holiday. “Why is it so?” asks the pro-opposition daily. “The first and main reason is that the constitution is absolutely not respected in Armenia. Constitutional norms are violated in Armenia every day and in a very systematic fashion, consistently and with a clear purpose. It’s not that laws do not function in Armenia. They really do. But those laws have nothing to do with the constitution. By and large, the constitution is a decorative institution whose main purpose is to let the authorities justify their actions and pretend that they are guided by it.”

“Hayots Ashkhar” says U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to the South Caucasus heralded a more active U.S. involvement in the region which it says has to do with Washington’s relations with Russia, Iran and Turkey. “It is noteworthy that the United States views the process of resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as a tool for its activation in all three directions,” says the paper.

“Hraparak” notes that Clinton avoided any meetings with Armenian opposition leaders during her trip to Yerevan. “Maybe the problem is that there are no female leaders in our opposition,” speculates the paper. “Maybe the problem is that our opposition is weak and pitiful and American leaders associate it with the authorities. But maybe Armenia’s existing political configuration is good for the American authorities.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” carries an interview with Goran Lindblad, the newly appointed Armenia co-rapporteur of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE). Lindblad describes Armenian oppositionists remaining in prison as “political prisoners” and says he will strive to ensure the Armenian authorities’ compliance with PACE resolutions adopted since 2008.

(Tigran Avetisian)
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