(Saturday, August 16)
Lragir.am reports that the Armenian government has raised modest pensions paid to veterans of the Nagorno-Karabakh war by only 5,000 drams ($12). Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian said on Thursday that the government lacks the money to finance a sharper increase. The government also refused on Thursday to allocate 4 billion drams (around $10 million) requested by Yerevan Mayor Taron Markarian for further road repairs in the Armenian capital. “They say that Taron’s relationship with [Prime Minister] Hovik Abrahamian is not good,” writes the online publication. “The reasons for that are hardly political as neither man is a political figure.” Abrahamian and Markarian are at odds over “money and positions,” it claims.
Hetq.am describes as genocide the continuing persecution of Yazidis in northern Iraq and says Armenia must do more to help those people. The publication says that Armenia should have been the first to have helped the Yazidis because it has a sizable Yazidi community. “Our authorities believe that what happens outside Armenia’s borders is not their business,” it complains. “There is no understanding that we too are a part of the world and in our efforts to become a strong country we should intervene, in the positive sense, in processes taking place beyond our borders.”
1in.am claims that the Armenian military is again becoming a “factor” is domestic politics following the recent upsurge in violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. “The thing is that the Karabakh issue has long been such a factor, in fact one of the most important factors,” it explains. There is already speculation that “some bets have been placed on Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian in the power struggle within the government” over who will succeed President Serzh Sarkisian in 2018. The publication says former President Robert Kocharian is also a potential successor. “He is part of a single integrated system and he pins his hopes on parts of that system, rather than the public,” it says, adding that Kocharian may now view Ohanian as another rival.