“Hraparak” comments on an opposition bill that would abolish parliamentary elections held in single-mandate constituencies. The paper says it would be wrong to claim that the system of proportional representation is inherently more democratic, arguing that it is non-existent in countries like the United States. “In our case, we are dealing with another phenomenon,” it says. “The authorities need the existing system for reproducing themselves … This mechanism is flawless [for them.] A pro-government candidate running in a single-mandate constituency bears personal responsibility for votes earned for the government list [of candidates.]” The opposition bill is therefore certain to be blocked by the parliament majority, concludes the paper.
Aleksan Karapetian, the deputy chairman of the pro-government National Unity Party, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that elections held only on the party-list basis have to be approved by Armenians in a popular referendum.
“Zhamanak” expresses outrage at the death of an Armenian soldier who was hospitalized and diagnosed with chicken pox last month, saying that such cases overshadow just about every political and economic event taking place in the country. “The human being just doesn’t become the supreme value in Armenia,” writes the paper. It says that as long as the ruling elite does not understand the value of a human life it will be naïve to expect positive change in the country.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” reports on the latest Index of Economic Freedom released by “The Wall Street Journal” and the U.S. Heritage Foundation. The opposition paper mocks the survey’s conclusion that the Armenian economy is more liberal than most other economies of the world. “Doing business here is extremely easy,” it says sarcastically. “For example, let anyone try to cut down a few trees and open a cafe in the center of Paris, near the Eiffel Tower. They can’t do that. But in the center of Yerevan, that’s not a problem. You give the money and the permission will be ready in a few days … The same is true for construction. Can anyone declare Paris’s Latin Quarter a redevelopment zone and build luxury buildings? Nobody can. In Yerevan, by contrast, you can easily do that.”