(Saturday, October 31)
“Zhoghovurd” reports that energy-related issues and other “projects of regional significance” were reportedly on the agenda of President Serzh Sarkisian’s Friday talks in Tbilisi with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili. The paper suggests that the two men are unlikely to have discussed the possible opening of the Abkhaz railway.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” is not surprised that the Armenian parliament’s pro-government majority has once again blocked an opposition motion to introduce a mandatory inking of voters’ fingers in polling stations. The paper says pro-government deputies and government officials presented “ludicrous arguments” against this anti-fraud measure during last week’s parliamentary debates relating to the conduct of the December 6 constitutional referendum. “In that sense, the debates served as a litmus test and exposed the intellectual wretchedness of the [ruling] HHK elite,” it says.
Margarit Yesayan, an HHK parliamentarian, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that some opposition groups have backed President Serzh Sarkisian’s constitutional changes. “As for those people who call for civil disobedience, I do not consider them opposition,” she says. “They are individuals who are acting on external or perhaps internal instructions to stir up trouble. But they will fail to do that because the Republic of Armenia is a state, because in any state any anarchist manifestations must be strictly punished.”
Interviewed by “Zhamanak,” Garegin Chukaszian, a leader of the Founding Parliament opposition movement, insists that the Armenian state apparatus is not as powerful as it appears to be and that the radical opposition can therefore scuttle the constitutional reform. “The fact that in this severe socioeconomic and geopolitical situation they are bringing more instability to the country shows there are very strong doubts within their system that they will reproduce themselves in the next elections,” says Chukaszian.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that non-commercial cash remittances sent home by Armenian migrant workers shrunk by almost half year on year in September. “Even during the recession of 2008-2009 the remittances were not so low in September,” writes the paper. It says that remittance inflows were down by 38 percent in January-September 2015. The paper believes this drop is the main cause of a worsening of the economic situation in Armenia.