“Zhamanak” says that Armenian political groups opposed to President Serzh Sarkisian’s constitutional reform are too slow in launching a promised campaign against it. The paper says that the Sarkisian administration, meanwhile, is quietly preparing for a referendum on its draft constitutional changes expected to be held before December. Sarkisian is due to formally approve the controversial amendments and send them to parliament in the next few days. By contrast, opponents of the reform have chosen to go on vacation, according to the paper.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” comments on the latest violent incident involving Ruben Hayrapetian, a government-linked tycoon heading the Football Federation of Armenia (FFA). Arsen Avetisian, the director and majority shareholder of the Air Armenia airline, claims to have been beaten up by Hayrapetian and his bodyguards in Yerevan last week. According to Avetisian’s wife, Izabella Melkumian, the incident was witnessed by dozens of ordinary people.
“The presence of several dozen eyewitnesses did not restrain Ruben Hayrapetian in any way,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “This is what makes his actions an extraordinary crime. Ordinary criminals try to act with as little publicity as possible in order to minimize the possibility of being exposed. But Ruben Hayrapetian did not act like that. Why? The reason is very simple. He is certainly interested in having a share in the debts to be repaid by Air Armenia, but that is not the most important factor. He enjoys beating up people. But even that is not the main thing. He just wants as many people as possible to know who he is.”
“Zhoghovurd” sees a lack of public trust in a special audit of the Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA) utility which was promised by President Serzh Sarkisian during the recent “Electric Yerevan” protests. “No matter how skeptical we are, the fact is that the authorities have not reneged on their promise,” writes the paper. “There will be an audit, even if it is a mere formality.” It criticizes civic activists for rejecting government offers to participate in the ENA’s audit and bickering amongst each other instead.