(Saturday, November 12)
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that Armenia’s population is increasingly losing interest in politics. “Gone are the days when political battles generated a genuine [popular] interest and party leaders were idols for thousands of people,” writes the paper. “A ‘private life’ has emerged and been recognized in the country while its citizens have received the freedom to decide whether or not to participate in politics.” It says Armenians are now also more skeptical about democratic values because those have been exploited by opposition politicians. “To get rid of the meaningless mould of ‘freedom,’ ‘democracy,’ ‘equality,’ and ‘civic consciousness’ -- this is what seems necessary for developing the political thought,” concludes the pro-presidential daily.
“Yerkir” claims that President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party (HHK) protects the interests of the senior state bureaucracy while its two coalition partners, Prosperous Armenia (BHK) and Orinats Yerkir,” fight for the “oligarchy.” “There is a vacuum in the opposition camp which is supposed to reflect the interest of the most important party: the public,” says the paper. “After the final failure and discrediting of [Levon Ter-Petrosian’s] HAK no new counterweight to the government forces is being formed there.”
“168 Zham” quotes Hrant Bagratian, a former prime minister and a senior HAK member, as claiming credit for major changes in tax legislation planned by the Armenian government. “In a sense this means that the opposition and myself in particular are dictating the government’s economic policy agenda,” says Bagratian.
“Aravot” says that being a parliament deputy in Armenia is meaningless because all key decisions are made in the presidential administration. “This is not only true for the deputies,” editorializes the paper. “Even those people who are far away from the universal mentality of the ruling establishment with their ‘pedigree’ merge, so to speak, with that majority after socializing with it. Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian is one such example.”
“Zhamanak” points out that unlike the Armenian president, prime minister and other top officials, the chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC), Tigran Mukuchian, has not promised that the next elections will be the most democratic ones in Armenia’s history.