“Hraparak” predicts that after next year’s presidential election Armenia’s leadership will likely hold a referendum on fresh constitutional amendments that would turn the country into a parliamentary republic. The paper says President Serzh Sarkisian and his predecessor Robert Kocharian are interested in such a change for different reasons. “The second president [Kocharian,] according to sources close to him, will not run [for president] in 2013 but will do everything to have forces coordinated by him collect so many that would enable to solve the issue of prime minister, something which they failed to do in the [May] parliamentary elections,” it claims.
“Zhamanak” notes that the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) has not reacted in any way to harsh prison sentences that were given last week to four activists of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK). “Also noteworthy is the fact that the HAK leaders do not seem be trying to demand a principled stance on that issue from their partner [BHK,] even though when it comes to other political forces they are not only principled but quite tough,” says the paper. “All this seems to be the result of the BHK’s wise policy that leaves the HAK with no room for retreat,” it adds. The paper claims that Levon Ter-Petrosian’s bloc has bowed to BHK pressure and severed ties with other opposition parties.
“Aravot” quotes Petros Makeyan, the leader of a small opposition party aligned in the HAK, as saying that the bloc has ceased to serve as an “alternative” to the Armenian government. That is why, he says, an HAK candidate would hardly do well in the upcoming municipal elections in Gyumri and elsewhere in Armenia. “According to our calculations, the HAK can play a role in the 2013 elections,” continues Makeyan. “If that doesn’t happen, then our staying or not staying in the HAK would not matter anymore. We think that the Congress must use the opportunity to change the situation in 2013.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that the number of cars imported to Armenia has continued to grow this year. The paper says that cheap and old cars account for much of that increase. “Imports of expensive cars have also risen but not significantly. “Of course this phenomenon is not new, but it seems to be deepening,” it says. “Qualitative changes in car imports to Armenia have been especially noticeable in the last two years.”