(Saturday, November 1)
Vartan Poghosian, a member of the Constitutional Reform Commission, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that one of the major changes proposed by the concept submitted to the head of state is that the president of the republic will be elected by a body of electors that will be broader than the National Assembly and may also include representatives of local government bodies. “Nor do we exclude that representatives of the Diaspora may also be included in this body. It is clear that in accordance with this concept we, in fact, rule out direct election of the president, as president of the republic will no longer have the powers that he has under the current system,” the expert on constitutional law says, adding that he does not rule out that President Serzh Sarkisian may approve the concept with certain reservations or changes.
While agreeing that system rather than personnel changes are needed in Armenia to ensure improvement of ordinary people’s lives, “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” still contends that in today’s reality even the change of certain personalities in the government system may provide essential changes. “In practice, the heavy social situation of the population is conditioned by the absence of jobs and there is a shortage of jobs because of the lack of investments. Investments are not made in Armenia because those who set up businesses here are forced to share their revenues with well-known individuals. So, it turns out that a change of concrete individuals may let the economy have some breathing space,” the paper concludes.
“Hraparak” challenges the wisdom of the decision by the three opposition parties to shift the center of gravity of their anti-government movement to the provinces after it managed to hold two well-attended rallies in capital Yerevan and, in fact, get some concessions from the government. It refers to the statement made by Gagik Tsarukian, the leader of the largest of the three parties, Prosperous Armenia, about the launch of formation of headquarters across Armenia. “Let’s assume that Serzh Sarkisian makes concessions also on the matter of reforming the electoral code and agrees to an all party-list ballot. Will this system work unless the free expression of people’s will is ensured and the use of state administrative resources is excluded?” the paper queries.
“Zhamanak” sees the ‘time-out’ taken by Serzh Sarkisian before making appointments to two vacant top posts as a sign of differences within his ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK): “It means that Sarkisian is not able to make such appointments single-handedly and the problem here is rather within the HHK itself… Sarkisian’s objective now is to try not to offend any wing of the HHK and not to deepen the dividing lines that already exist inside the party.”