“Hraparak” suggests that leaving the provisions about the ‘second round’ of parliamentary elections and forming a ‘stable majority’ in the package of constitutional amendments appears to have become a ‘life-and-death’ issue for the ruling party. It reminds that in its preliminary assessments of the draft constitutional reform the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission recommended that this provision be removed and that the issue should be solved through the Electoral Code. “But the Armenian authorities are against this recommendation and are going to oppose even such a prestigious commission…But even before the opinion of the Venice Commission representatives of certain opposition parties in Armenia said that the provision is one of the main goals of the authorities in changing the Constitution, as it will pave the way for the establishment of a one-party system in which [current president] Serzh Sarkisian, as leader of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia, will govern the country in the status of the ‘secretary general’,” the daily writes.
“Zhamanak” focuses on the developments in the financial market of Armenia where it says the Central Bank has carried out an intervention of tens of millions of dollars within just a week or so. “This means that the Central Bank, simply using huge dollar interventions. has started to keep up the exchange rate of the dram, and if there is no such intervention Armenia may again see the kind of financial turmoil that it witnessed late last year. The new drop in world oil prices and the fall of the Russian ruble, no doubt, create another tension in Armenia’s financial market, causing a new challenge, and it is, of course, because of this pressure that the Central Bank has resumed its large-scale currency interventions.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” notes that since Armenia joined the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) at the beginning of this year, the country’s exports to Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus have fallen considerably. At the same time, it adds, during the first six months of 2015 Armenian imports from these three members of the EEU have increased by about 5 percent. “It’s a very awkward situation. It turns out that the 170-million-strong market that we were supposed to conquer not only successfully resisted the ‘attack’ of our goods, but also launched a powerful counteroffensive, conquering our poor 2.5-million-strong market,” the paper writes, sardonically.
Comparing the events taking place in Russia with the Armenian reality, the editor of “Aravot” writes: “To ban Facebook, to prohibit YouTube, to strike [former world chess champion Garry] Kasparov out of the history of Soviet sports, to erase the name of [bard and musician] Boris Grebenshchikov from Russian culture (because he met with former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili), to prohibit any historical event which is discussed in not particularly nice colors for Russia or the Soviet Union – such proposals can often be heard from members of the Russian State Duma. On the basis of some of these proposals sometimes even decisions are made. The motivation is clear – to protect national values, morality – as they are understood by State Duma members – history, religion and so on... I do not have the highest opinion of the members of our National Assembly, but it must be said that in our parliament such absurd proposals are not heard yet. I say ‘yet’, because no one can tell how far this Eurasian integration will take us.”