“Zhoghovurd” voices skepticism about the campaign of “civil disobedience” that has been launched by the opposition New Armenia Public Salvation Front with the stated aim of overthrowing President Serzh Sarkisian. The paper says that its first protests in Yerevan were attended by only several hundred people and posed no real threat to the Armenian government. “In essence, our opposition deserves this government and the government deserves such opposition,” it says. “One can only feel sorry for the people, who definitely do not deserve this.”
“Zhamanak” similarly sees “serious challenges” facing New Armenia, saying that the opposition alliance can overcome them only with new types of actions. The paper too is skeptical about New Armenia leaders’ claims that Sarkisian’s resignation is imminent.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reacts to a warning by Davit Harutiunian, the chief of the Armenian government staff, that Sarkisian could stay in power as prime minister in 2018 if he fails to push through his constitutional changes. “Just days before the [December 6 constitutional] referendum, the authorities are making the most powerful argument which boils down to this: in order to get rid of a scourge called Serzh Sarkisian we should say ‘Yes’ to the constitutional changes because otherwise this scourge will continue to harm the country as prime minister,” claims the paper.
“Hraparak” says the Armenian political landscape is characterized by “deepening turmoil and false and shallow relationships.” “One can see that neither the authorities nor the opposition know what to do,” writes the paper. “Hardly a day goes by without members of the same team making contradictory statements and not showing their cluelessness with vague and meaningless asnwers.” In this regard, it points to Harutiunian’s statement about Sarkisian’s political future.
Interviewed by “168 Zham,” Richard Mills, the U.S. ambassador in Yerevan, reiterates and defends his calls for the Armenian authorities to fight against corruption in earnest. Mills says this is essential for attracting more investments in the Armenian economy from abroad and the United States in particular. “I can’t urge American investors to invest in Armenia if I don’t see progress in the fight against corruption and government transparency,” he says.