“168 Zham” sees a connection between the appointment of Armenia’s new prosecutor-general, Gevorg Kostanian, and President Serzh Sarkisian’s decision to initiate another general amnesty. The paper says that with Armenia’s law-enforcement system likely to remain corrupt and abusive, Sarkisian is essentially telling the society that “only he can establish justice in these conditions of continuing injustice in Armenia.”
“Zhamanak” recalls that Sarkisian called his first amnesty in 2009 when he was under strong international pressure to free dozens of opposition members and supporters arrested following the disputed presidential election of February 2008. “Serzh Sarkisian is initiating an amnesty today in a similar situation,” claims the paper. “There is the issue of [jailed opposition activist] Tigran Arakelian and [arrested war veteran] Volodya Avetisian. But one should take into account one important difference. Serzh Sarkisian’s relations with Europe have deteriotated after his decision on the [Russian-led] customs union.” The paper notes in this context that Sarkisian proposed an amnesty bill ahead of his speech at the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly.
In an interview with “Azg,” Ara Abrahamian, a leader of the Armenian community in Russia, welcomes Armenia’s decision to join the Russian-led customs union and Eurasian Economic Union as a “remarkable event.” Abrahamian says it testifies to “the successful development of the process of economic and political unification” of former Soviet states. He says involvement in that process is good for Armenia’s national security and economic development.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” reports that the Armenian government has promised to raise pensions by 15 percent from next January. Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian also promised late last week a 40 percent rise in public sector salaries effective from July 2014. The paper dismisses these announcements, saying that President Serzh Sarkisian pledged to raise salaries this year when he ran for reelection. It says Sarkisian has not bothered to explain why he has not quite delivered on that promise.