“Zhamanak” looks into the draft constitutional amendments that were circulated by an Armenian presidential commission on Wednesday. The paper singles out an unexpected amendment mandating a second round of voting in cases where no Armenian party wins a clear parliamentary majority in general elections. “In essence, this is an unprecedented electoral system because no progressive, developed or developing state is known to have a two-round parliamentary election,” it says. It says the commission formed by President Serzh Sarkisian wants to make sure that only two political forces are represented in Armenia’s future parliaments, with one of them controlling most parliament seats. This, according to “Zhamanak,” would amount to a “restriction of the political life in Armenia.”
“Zhoghovurd” is alarmed by another draft amendment stipulating that Article 1 and Article 2 of the existing constitution, which declare Armenia an independent and democratic republic, can now be altered or changed altogether. “This fact alone is sufficient grounds for us to say that the document is unconstitutional,” writes the paper.
“Hraparak” says that the views of political groups supporting or rejecting the proposed constitutional reform must not be taken at face value simply because they reflect vested interests. The paper says that Sarkisian and his Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) are only intent on extending their rule through those amendments, whereas their political opponents only care about legal possibilities of effecting regime change in the country.
“168 Zham” contends that Iran’s nuclear agreement with six world powers is “creating great opportunities for Armenia.” “This is what just about everyone has been saying, and rightly so, for the past two days,” writes the paper. It stresses that Armenia can draw political and economic dividends from the lifting of international sanctions against Iran only if it acts as a sovereign state and does not subordinate its interests to Russia’s interests.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that Armenian law-enforcement authorities have still not returned computers, megaphones and a car confiscated from the Founding Parliament opposition movement during the arrests of its leaders in April. All of those leaders were set free a few weeks later.