(Saturday, October 3)
“Aravot” says that a recent resolution adopted by the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) noted a continuing “polarization” of the political landscape in Armenia. The resolution said that controversial constitutional changes initiated by President Serzh Sarkisian are one reason for that. “On the one hand, any polarization is not a good thing,” editorializes the paper. “It is desirable to have an atmosphere of social solidarity. On the other hand, it is not clear what the PACE wants. To ensure that there is no political polarization on the issue of constitutional changes? To see all political forces [unanimously] say yes or no to those changes?”
The paper says that such polarization is also not uncommon in Europe. “Political polarization on this issue is very natural,” it says, adding that the PACE would have adopted a more understandable position had it expressed instead concern at the possible falsification of Armenia’s upcoming constitutional referendum.
Citing official figures, “Hraparak” reports that Armenian prosecutors opened 312 criminal cases related to suspected corrupt practices in the first quarter of this year. More than 60 of those cases, involving about 100 individuals, were sent to courts. The paper describes these figures are “fairly serious.” “Either the number of the instances of corruption has increased or law-enforcement authorities are now solving more corruption-related crimes,” it says. “But more noteworthy is the fact that the majority of those criminal cases were closed for lack of evidence. What does this mean? Do the law-enforcers open baseless cases … or they simply close them within the framework of corruption risks, thereby earning their launchers certain material benefits?”
“In effect, the Armenian state and the Armenian society have no dreams,” laments “168 Zham.” “The absence of such a dream is the reason why on internal and external political issues Armenia is guided by very short-term interests and positions. One day it surrenders to Russia, the next day it pledges allegiance to the West.”