“168 Zham” reports that President Serzh Sarkisian is expected to announce that he is pressing ahead with a controversial reform of the Armenian constitution during a meeting of the governing body of his ruling Republican Party (HHK) slated for Thursday evening. “A new political situation will emerge in the country as a result,” predicts the paper. It notes Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) leader Gagik Tsarukian’s warning last week that the BHK and its opposition allies will campaign for fresh presidential and parliamentary elections unless Sarkisian drops his plans to amend the constitution. It says further political developments depend on the BHK’s response to Sarkisian’s anticipated announcement.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that if Sarkisian does make such a decision the Armenian opposition could close the ranks to try to win the 2017 parliamentary elections or turn a constitutional referendum, due in 2016, into a nationwide vote of no confidence in Sarkisian. There is also another option: to launch a “powerful campaign of rallies” aimed at forcing snap elections already this spring. The paper believes that Tsarukian, Armenian National Congress (HAK) leader Levon Ter-Petrosian and Zharangutyun Party leader Raffi Hovannisian will discuss these three options when they meet on Sunday. “Their further steps will show which option was chosen by the trio,” it says.
“Zhamanak” also expects Sarkisian to announce his “final decision on constitutional changes” at the HHK meeting. The paper speculates that the BHK threats to campaign for regime change in Armenia were “instructed from Moscow.” “It means that Moscow has either decided to oust Serzh Sarkisian or will demand something from him very soon and is starting to pressure him through the BHK to fulfill that demand,” it says.