“Zhoghovurd” reports on Tuesday’s Armenian bus crash in Russia that killed 8 people and injured more than 40 others, noting that the bus belonged to an Armenian company owned by Artur Harutiunian, a former protégé of Gagik Tsarukian. The paper dismisses Harutiunian’s assurances that the bus overturned on a Russian highway not because of a mechanical malfunction. It also says that the accident exposed a grave lack of state oversight of the technical condition of buses and minibuses in Armenia.
“Aravot” is unhappy with opposition criticism addressed to the Armenian authorities in connection with the deadly crush. According to the paper, from the opposition perspective, such accidents will continue until there is regime change in Armenia. “If their attitudes towards a tragedy that claimed human lives can be like this, then they can say anything about a ‘neutral’ subject such as constitutional reforms,” it says in an editorial.
“Zhamanak” reacts to Finance Minister Gagik Khachatrian’s announcement that tax authorities have found no evidence of tax evasion in six of the seven large firms owned by Gagik Tsarukian. “Thus we can conclude that the authorities are taking yet another important step towards Gagik Tsarukian’s rehabilitation,” comments the paper. “This means that Tsarukian can keep spending money on charitable projects. Tsarukian’s benevolence has had a political subtext as well. He has engaged in benevolent activities in order to earn himself and his party (Prosperous Armenia, the BHK) popular support. Tsarukian will definitely want to return to politics because his fortune needs protection by a political support base.” The paper predicts that Tsarukian will seek to retain his parliament seat in the next legislative elections due in 2017.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” mocks a parliament deputy from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), Karine Poghosian, for saying that a country like Armenia must not have the same constitution for more than 20 years. “Clearly, the lady is confusing the constitution with a dress,” writes the opposition-linked paper. “Within the bounds of that logic, she is definitely right. You can’t wear the same dress for 20 years.”
“Normal and developed countries do not change constitutions for decades or even centuries,” “Asparez” says, countering Poghosian. “Why? Because frequent [constitutional] changes are not only useless but also bad in terms of political progress and stability.”