“Zhamanak” says that while strongly criticizing on Tuesday President Serzh Sarkisian’s drive to amend the Armenian constitution former President Robert Kocharian let it be known that he is not going to try to thwart it in any way. The paper suggests that Kocharian realizes his lack of political clout and problematic relationship with opposition forces campaigning against Sarkisian’s constitutional changes. Nor did he send any signals to any “segments of the ruling elite,” suggesting that “Kocharian seems to have lost hope for finding support within that system,” adds the paper.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” also notes that Kocharian said nothing about fighting against the passage of the draft constitutional amendments. It says that “Kocharian’s team” is instead continuing to keep open the possibility of his return to active politics. “But the electoral list of which party can Kocharian top?” asks the pro-opposition paper. “Until recently [Gagik Tsarukian’s] BHK and Dashnaktsutyun were regarded as his potential support bases. But in essence, Serzh Sarkisian has wrested these two parties from Kocharian, turning them into his obedient clients. If Kocharian now pins his hopes on a party that will be set up by [former Foreign Minister] Vartan Oskanian, things are still very murky on this front.”
“Zhoghovurd” quotes Deputy Finance Minister Pavel Safarian as saying that Armenia’s draft state budget for next year approved by the government last week does not cover “many development projects” due to a lack of tax revenue resulting from sluggish economic growth. But he emphasizes that the government will not cut back on social spending in 2016.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the Yerevan Mayor’s Office is refusing to specify just how it has spent over 150 million drams ($315,000) on an annual festival held in the Armenian capital. The paper says that it submitted a corresponding written inquiry to the municipality late last month and has still not received a reply.