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Press Review


Armenian online media outlets are quick to react to former President Robert Kocharian’s latest statement lambasting his successor Serzh Sarkisian’s controversial efforts to amend Armenia’s constitution.

“Kocharian did not say the most important thing,” writes 1in.am. The publication argues that it remains unclear what, if anything, he plans to do in order to try to thwart the constitutional reform. “It may well be that he is simply waiting to see reactions [to his statement] and testing waters.” It also reports that Kocharian’s press secretary, Victor Soghomonian, said right after the statement on Tuesday that if the ex-president does decide to attempt a political comeback he will participate in Armenia’s next parliamentary elections due in May 2017.

Lragir.am does not exclude a “direct confrontation” between Kocharian and Sarkisian. It also speculates that the two erstwhile allies might reach an agreement that would guarantee Kocharian some sort of a political role after Armenia becomes a parliamentary republic. The publication wonders at the same time whether Sarkisian really needs such a deal at this juncture.

“We have a constitution and it has not been enforced for the last several years,” writes Ilur.am. “Not because it’s bad but because the authorities ignore it on a daily basis.” The pro-opposition outlet says this fact makes mockery of Sarkisian’s assurances that he wants to give Armenians a better constitution.

“The constitutional reforms represent a choice for Armenia’s public and political forces,” writes “168 Zham.” “A choice not so much between ‘yes’ and ‘no’ [votes] as between the treatment for an illness and its continuation and, God forbid, fatal outcome.”

“Zhoghovurd” reveals that the members of Armenia’s parliament received copies of the final version of Sarkisian’s extensive constitutional package only several hours before they overwhelmingly voted to approve it. The paper believes that most of them did not bother to read the text before the vote.

(Heghine Buniatian)

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