(Saturday, November 6)
“Zhamanak” comments on the continuing opposition talk of pre-term presidential and parliamentary elections in Armenia. “Undoubtedly, the increasingly complicated situation in Armenia, numerous problems suggest and even require pre-term developments, which seem to be becoming more and more vital,” writes the pro-opposition daily. “But the question is whether there is potential for achieving pre-term developments,” it says, questioning the opposition’s ability to force such polls.
Hrayr Karapetian, the chairman of the parliament committee on defense and security, tells “Aravot” that the recent scandals related to the Armenian military are also the result of an “unprecedented increase in publicity surrounding the army.” “Everyone is informed about every incident in the army,” says Karapetian. “The challenge is to prevent such incidents in the first place, to do everything to ensure that such incidents do not occur anymore, and, if they do occur, that every case is investigated properly. We must also ensure that all the guilty are punished.”
“There have always been such cases in the army,” continues Karapetian. “There are objective and subjective reasons for them. Among the objective reasons is the fact that a disciplinary code of the armed forces is still not in force. There is only a government decision adopted in 1996. Our committee has already organized hearings on this draft [code proposed by the Defense Ministry] and sent it to an international examination.”
“Hraparak” reacts to Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian’s harsh criticism of several government ministers voiced at a cabinet meeting on Thursday. The paper claims that Sarkisian organized the “show” in an apparent effort to demonstrate that “he is in control of the situation and capable of firing even deputy-ministers nominated by coalition parties.” It says that with his “anti-corruption populism” premier also sought to create the “image of a heroic corruption fighter” for himself. The paper adds that his demands for the immediate sacking of high-level civil servants are illegal. “Doesn’t he know that civil servants are protected by law? It is not possible to dismiss them without grounds, without an internal inquiry,” it concludes.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” reports on the parliamentary Audit Chamber’s grave accusations leveled against the Russian GeoProMining company managing Armenia’s biggest gold mines. “Why is that deal being disclosed now?” asks the paper. “Didn’t the authorities know about all this before? If they didn’t, they should have read newspapers. The press has repeatedly written that the exploitation of Armenian gold deposits is being done by dubious mechanisms.”