“Hraparak” reports on extremely poor attendance at Wednesday’s session of the Armenian parliament. “The emptiness of the hall left even speaker Galust Sahakian in a depressive mood, and he presided over the sitting lifelessly,” says the paper.
“Zhamanak” carries an interview with Ashot Aghababian, a parliament deputy from President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) representing a constituency in Shirak, the country’s poorest region. Aghababian say one reason why Shirak has the highest poverty rate in Armenia is its harsh climate. He also cites lingering consequences of the 1988 earthquake that destroyed much of the regional infrastructure.
“Zhoghovurd” slams senior Armenian officials and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian in particular for flying business class on their trips abroad. The paper reveals that Nalbandian’s recent air travel cost the state budget almost 2.9 million drams ($7,000). The government would have saved half of that sum if Nalbandian had used economy class tickets, it says. The paper goes on to attack Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian for traveling abroad on even more expensive charter flights.
“Hayots Ashkhar” criticizes the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), Prosperous Armenia and Zharangutyun parties for refusing to negotiate with the government on a list of their demands circulated in June. The pro-government paper scoffs at their claims that the authorities are playing for time. “One gets the impression that it is the opposition trio that wants to win time,” it says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” dismisses as a “mockery” the monitoring of the ceasefire regime in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone which is regularly conducted by a handful of representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The paper says that the OSCE’s Andrzej Kasprzyk and members of his monitoring team visit only frontline sections where there are no shootouts between the warring sides. “They can, for instance, monitor the administrative border between [Armenia’s] Tavush and Lori provinces,” it says mockingly. “There are no ceasefire violations or any other problems with security there. They also would not have to take longer trips [to Karabakh.”