“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian’s son Argam has decided to run for mayor of Artashat, a town 30 kilometers south Yerevan where Abrahamian and his extended family have long held sway. The paper says that his candidacy is supported by the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). It notes that Hovik Abrahamian began his political career in the early 1990s as Artashat mayor.
“Hraparak” says that although Armenian law does not bar the prime minister’s son from running a local government body “elementary decency requires the Abrahamians to content themselves with the prime minister’s post and their family businesses.” The paper claims that Armenia is sliding into a “feudal” system.
“Zhoghovurd” says that it would be naïve to expect a surge in U.S. investments in the Armenian economy following the signing in Washington on Thursday of a U.S.-Armenian Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). “For the Armenian authorities this document is primarily important for showing Russia and other members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) the existence of an alternative [for Armenia]” writes the paper.
Speaking to “Hayots Ashkhar” about the issue, Samvel Nikoyan, a parliament deputy from the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), says that the gravity of problems with the rule of law in Armenia scaring away U.S. investors has been exaggerated in the United States. “I said during a recent meeting with the [U.S.] ambassador that if someone does not want to invest in Armenia they can always find excuses,” says Nikoyan.
“The Armenian authorities are looking for money everywhere except places where it abounds,” “Zhamanak” says in a commentary on government bills on taxing Armenian migrant workers abroad and offering tax breaks to some investors. The paper claims that unnamed Armenian officials have “millions and perhaps billions of dollars” stashed in their bank accounts in Armenia and abroad.
Some newspapers also report on a controversial claim by Archbishop Pargev Martirosian of Nagorno-Karabakh that a real Armenian must necessarily be a Christian. “Aravot” strongly disagrees with this declaration. “Nobody can instill in another person their feelings,” editorializes the paper. “Not even an archbishop.”