(November 8, Saturday)
Interviewed by “Haykakan Zhamanak,” parliament speaker Galust Sahakian says that Armenian politics is now dominated by President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party (HHK) and Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia (BHK). “The two parties are strong and able to attract [large] followings,” he says. Sahakian is also asked by the paper whether Sarkisian could become parliament speaker if Armenia is transformed into a parliamentary republic after he completes his final term in 2018. “Why not? But we are not discussing such a thing yet because Serzh Sarkisian will be president of Armenia until 2018,” he replies.
“Zhamanak” sees a connection between Sarkisian’s decision to restructure his cabinet and plans by the BHK and its two opposition allies, Levon Ter-Petrosian’s HAK and Raffi Hovannisian’s Zharangutyun party, to set up nationwide offices of their joint “popular movement.” The paper suggests that the two sides are digging in for a prolonged struggle.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” dismisses government claims that the forthcoming creation of the Ministry of Economic Reforms and Integration has nothing to do with Armenia’s accession to the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). The paper argues that the government conducted yearlong accession negotiations with the EEU without such a ministry. It says this might explain why the government has never clearly explained, including with economic calculations, what Armenia will gain from membership in the EEU and why it is better for the country than an Association Agreement with the European Union.
“Zhoghovurd” complains that the government has started bringing Armenian laws and regulations into conformity with EEU requirements even before a Constitutional Court ruling on the legality of its accession treaty with the Russian-led bloc. “Obviously the document’s dispatch to the Constitutional Court is a formality,” writes the paper. “And the National Assembly will overwhelmingly ratify the treaty. But they could have observed the due process and waited until the legal procedure for the document’s entry into force is complete.”