(Saturday, November 21)
“Zhamanak” comments on reports that President Serzh Sarkisian will give a rare televised interview in Armenia on the eve of the December 6 referendum on his constitutional amendments. The paper notes that Sarkisian most recently spoke to Armenian television in March 2013 and made statements that have mostly not proved right. “For instance, he stated that the [Russian-led] Eurasian Economic Union does not want Armenia to join it,” it says. “It emerged later on, however, that Serzh Sarkisian had to hastily decide to join it [in September 2013.]” Armenians should bear this in mind when they watch his next interview, concludes the paper.
“Zhoghovurd” finds it weird that Sarkisian has still not made any public statements in connection with the referendum initiated by him. The paper says while it is true that his calls for Armenians to vote for his amendments might actually backfire there needs to be a clear explanation for his non-involvement in the “Yes” campaign conducted by his Republican Party of Armenia (HHK).
“Experience shows that the roof cause of continuing defeats suffered by our radical opposition is actions that are not commensurate with the existing political situation,” writs “Hayots Ashkhar.” The pro-presidential paper singles out radical opposition groups aligned in the New Armenia Public Salvation Front for criticism. It says their calls for a referendum boycott contradict their plans to launch a campaign of “civil disobedience” on December 1 aimed at toppling Sarkisian.
“One of the most serious problems, if not the most serious one, of Armenia’s political system is the absence of responsibility and loss of memory,” “168 Zham” writes in connection with former President Robert Kocharian’s periodical interviews in which he criticizes the current government. “People can hold senior positions for many years, carry out criminal acts or display inactivity during that period, then leave office and … make from time to time judgments about others’ shortcomings. Armenia’s second president, Robert Kocharian, is a vivid example of this phenomenon.” The paper says that although Kocharian’s statements are usually spot on, “he speaks of the kind of vicious phenomena that date back to his rule.”