(Saturday, September 12)
“Hraparak” says that the renewed demonstrations in Yerevan against the recent increase in electricity prices demonstrate that the Armenian authorities can no longer “deceive the society.” The paper says people have realized that the authorities are only delaying the enforcement of the price hike in order to “win time” and weaken the “Electric Yerevan” movement. It says that the use of force against youth activists who again occupied Marshal Bagramian Avenue on Friday would not prelude further protests.
“Zhamanak” says that the renewed “Electric Yerevan” protests could be joined and exploited by Armenian opposition groups trying to scuttle President Serzh Sarkisian’s constitutional changes. “The fight against the electricity price increases could turn into a fight against the authorities,” writes the paper. “For if the authorities do not fulfill the public’s demands the public concludes that such authorities must be replaced.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says Serzh Sarkisian’s assurances that he will not seek to become prime minister or parliament speaker in case of pushing through the constitutional changes should not be taken seriously because he has failed to honor many of his promises given during the 2008 and 2013 presidential election campaigns. “For example, Serzh Sarkisian promised during the pre-election period to cut the poverty rate by half,” it says. “Does anybody remember him ever apologizing for the fact that the opposite has happened.”
“Zhoghovurd” mocks Sarkisian’s latest joint public appearance with businessman Gagik Tsarukian, calling it a “circus.” The paper says that as recently as a few months ago the two men there branding each other “evil” and trading other insults.
“One sometimes suspects that there has never been any social policy [implemented by the government] in our country,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” The paper points to a very high degree of income disparity in Armenia.
“168 Zham” comments on Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian’s remark that Russian arms sales to Azerbaijan are “natural” even if many Armenians resent them. The paper wonders what the Armenian government will do if Moscow demands unilateral Armenian territorial concessions to Baku. “Would Nalbandian against say we don’t like it but it is natural because it has to do with business?” it asks.