(Saturday, August 20)
“Up until now all elections [held in Armenia] have been aimed at reproducing the ruling regimes,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “The upcoming elections must be aimed at ensuring the departure of the current regime and putting regime change into conformity with the constitution. Such a guarantee can only come from the current regime’s political decision not to contest forthcoming elections. As long as the current regime continues to fight for power the only alternative to likely developments is the Tunisian, Egyptian, Libyan and Syrians variants.”
“Aravot” runs an editorial on the 20th anniversary of the 1991 unsuccessful putsch in Moscow that precipitated the collapse of the Soviet Union. “The Soviet Union was doomed to collapse not because the malicious [Mikhail] Gorbachev or [Boris] Yeltsin wanted that, not because the wily Americans wanted to gain global hegemony,” writes the paper. “It’s just that the system which existed for 70 years demonstrated its utter inefficiency in the political, economic and moral senses. The question is, though, whether that system has been completely dismantled. It has definitely not.”
The paper lists what it considers undemocratic decisions taken by Armenia’s post-Soviet governments in the past 20 years and draws other parallels between the Soviet and existing political systems. “So the putsch was defeated but the Soviet Union not completely,” it concludes.
“Azg” calls for an “immediate” revision of the Armenian government’s economic policy and its taxation practices in particular. “The existing tax policy, especially in relation to value-added tax (VAT), does not contribute to economic development,” says the paper. “Its burden is fully placed on consumers.” It says that VAT and other “indirect” taxes account for nearly two-thirds of the government’s tax revenues. It says that this is not the case in developed nations where corporate profit and other direct taxes bring the bulk of funds to state budgets.