“Zhamanak” reports that President Serzh Sarkisian urged countries affiliated with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to help finance the construction of a railway connecting Armenia to Iran when he attended and addressed an SCO summit in Ufa, Russia on Thursday. “All this certainly sounds nice and tempting,” writes the paper. “But this is said by someone who spent four years negotiating with the European Union on the Association Agreement, concluded those negotiations and announce just a few weeks before its scheduled signing a complete foreign policy U-turn and [Armenia’s] entry to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” continues to assert that Sarkisian’s desire to cling to power indefinitely is the main driving force behind the planned reform of the Armenian constitution. The paper argues that the existing constitution bars him from seeking a third five-year term in office.
“Zhoghovurd” too believes that Sarkisian is keen to extend his rule beyond 2018. “If this new constitution is adopted as a result of a referendum, then Serzh Sarkisian could easily become president of the country’s National Assembly and rule the country until a very old age,” argues the paper.
Writing in “Haykakan Zhamanak,” opposition leader Nikol Pashinian denounces the Armenian traffic police for planning to deploy more speed cameras on the country’s highways this weekend. Pashinian says that the police are already slapping disproportionate fines on motorists violating traffic rules. He says that between 2012 and 2014 they used speed cameras to issue more than 2.5 million tickets to drivers.
Artur Kocharian, a leader of No To Plunder, assures “Hayots Ashkhar” that the youth movement, which launched recent protests against an electricity price hike, still has no intention to campaign for regime change in Armenia. Kocharian says that during those protests the No To Plunder leadership did everything to prevent a politicization of the “Electric Yerevan” protests.