(Saturday, April 19)
“168 Zham” disagrees with those who say that Hovik Abrahamian’s appointment as prime minister will not produce any changes in Armenia. “In terms of substance, those who think so may be right,” writes the paper. “Armenia’s political system works with such rules that even Adam Smith and [John Maynard] Keynes would be unable to make a difference if they were its prime minister.” But it says Abrahamian’s premiership is already increasing the number of political shows such as his meeting on Friday with pension reform protesters in the country. “Isn’t that a change?” the paper asks.
“Zhoghovurd” says that for all their conciliatory rhetoric the Armenian authorities have no intention to make serious concessions to the main opposition forces or the opponents of their controversial pension reform. The paper argues that President Serzh Sarkisian made clear that this and other reforms will continue when he announced Abrahamian’s appointment earlier this month. “So it would be naïve, to say the least, to think that Hovik Abrahamian could avoid introducing the new pension system,” it says. “In this regard, all of his steps are aimed at stalling for time and calming tempers.
Artak Davtian, a parliament deputy from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian would not have resigned had the results of his six-year tenure been “satisfactory” to the president, the HHK and the public. “Whatever the reasons for the resignation, it is evident that the former government did not achieve the results that we had anticipated,” says Davtian. “Now a new prime minister has been appointed, and I think the president is totally right to say that the new government should concentrate on its tasks, rather than the mistakes of the previous one.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that Serzh Sarkisian is the most hapless and unsuccessful of the three presidents who have ruled Armenia since its independence. The pro-opposition paper notes that the number of political parties represented in his government has shrunk from 4 to 1 since 2009. “Nobody wants to have a failed president,” it says.