“168 Zham” suggests that the U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group may bring new peace proposals with them when they visit Yerevan and Baku next week. The paper notes that the co-chairs seem to be concentrating now on a new meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents. It says their latest peace efforts could yield major developments in the stalled Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks if they are fully backed and coordinated by the United States and Russia.
“Aravot” believes that Armenia is not “mature” enough to become a parliamentary republic, something which is envisaged by President Serzh Sarkisian’s constitutional reform. The paper argues that Armenian political parties, including the ruling HHK, are still too weak to be entrusted with state governance. It says at the same time that Sarkisian and the HHK would seek to stay in power with or without the planned amendments to the Armenian constitution.
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” Vahram Baghdasarian, the HHK’s parliamentary leader, claims that the Armenian authorities are “only happy” to face non-partisan young people protesting against various government policies or measures such as an increase in electricity prices. “The fact that there was mutual understanding [on the energy tariff issue] is not accidental,” says Baghdasarian. “The main reason for this, so to speak, unprecedented development is that our young people did not unduly politicize the socioeconomic issue raised by them.”
“We need to take our steps in a sober and vigilant manner in order to avoid damaging the energy system,” adds Baghdasarian. “We can’t please the people and endanger everything with reckless, short-term steps.” He specifically warns of a “return to the 1990s” when Armenia was crippled by severe power shortages.
“Zhoghovurd” claims that the Armenian economy has still not recovered from the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. “Regardless of the content of official statistics, the country is heading for impoverishment,” claims the paper. It criticizes the Armenian government for rejecting such assertions. It says that the government’s “inadequacy” is only creating “negative expectations” among businesspeople.