“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” describes as “quite strange” former President Robert Kocharian’s latest interview in which he strongly criticized his successor Serzh Sarkisian’s plans to make sweeping changes in Armenia’s constitution. “The problem is not what he said,” explains the paper. “He said the right things. But he said that ‘the supremacy of one party will become an inevitable and enduring evil, a source of stagnation, and a tool for a reproduction of the vicious system.’ He also spoke of a ‘serious mistake whose consequences will be extremely dangerous for Armenia.’” Nevertheless, Kocharian gave no indications that he is ready to fight against the constitutional changes. This is so, the paper says, because “if he wins now he will not gain personal benefits and only Armenia will benefit from that.” “And if he wins in [the parliamentary elections due in] 2017 only he will benefit from that,” it says.
“Aravot” also comments on Kocharian’s “pathetic” concerns about one-party rule and other obstacles to democratization allegedly emanating from Sarkisian’s constitutional package. “None of us can believe that Kocharian has started thinking day and night about the establishment of democracy, elimination of economic monopolies, press freedom and human rights protection in our country because for ten consecutive years he showed how he fights against these principles,” editorializes the paper. It says that Kocharian rigged two presidential elections, committed human rights abuses, restricted press freedom and oversaw the March 2008 deadly crackdown on the Armenian opposition.
“Armenia cannot develop because it is locked in a conflict,” Poland’s ambassador in Yerevan, Jerzy Nowakowski, tells “Zhamanak.” “One should act very forcefully behind the scenes because the European Union and Poland in particular want to see peace on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan and because these two states are part of the [EU’s] Eastern Partnership program.”