(Saturday, August 23)
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” disapproves of continuing street protests in Yerevan driven by youth activists. The pro-opposition paper says “social issues” raised by them will not cure Armenia’s fundamental ills even if some of their demands are met by the authorities. “That smacks of ordinary haggling or blackmail. That is, you know that you are up against a criminal and are telling him, ‘Solve my issues and I will shut up,’” it says, comparing that to poor people’s readiness to sell their votes. “As long as part of the disaffected segment of the society brings up only social issues the launch of a powerful movement with ‘radical demands’ will be delayed,” concludes “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun.”
Petros Makeyan, a veteran opposition politician, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that further political developments in Armenia primarily depend on external factors. “As you know, Armenia is expected to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union in November and Russia is against that,” he says. “There is a clash of interests, and so representatives of these two power centers are trying to make the [Armenian] political scene more active and steer political events here into a direction desired by them.”
“168 Zham” claims that Armenia’s political leadership has decided to hold next year a referendum on transforming the country into a parliamentary republic. The paper says President Serzh Sarkisian is planning to resign as president and become prime minister in 2017, one year before completing his second and final term in office. It cites unnamed sources as saying that the authorities could set up in December a special commission tasked with drafting corresponding amendments to the Armenian constitution.
“Aravot” quotes Ruzanna Muradian, a parliament deputy from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), as stressing the importance of a bill on gender equality which is due to be debated by the National Assembly soon. She says that the bill “directly and indirectly” prohibits any form of gender-based discrimination in the country.