“In all senses, the referendum on the constitutional changes has left Armenia in a transitional period,” writes “Zhamanak.” “There is a transitional period within the government because the current, ‘old’ constitution will remain in force until 2018 and the new one will fully take effect after Serzh Sarkisian leaves office in 2018.”
“Zhoghovurd” also sees the start of “a new political cycle” in Armenia, saying that even opposition forces opposed to Sarkisian’s constitutional reform acknowledge that. The paper also says that some of the political parties that have endorsed the reform may soon be disappointed with the paybacks from Sarkisian and the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). It says the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) specifically expect to get government posts or seats in the country’s next parliament to be elected in 2017.
“The latest referendum was unprecedented not in terms of the quantity of falsifications -- it has been pretty much the same for 20 years -- but the number of detected and proven falsifications,” “Aravot” writes in an editorial. “What made that possible? Of course, the large number of video devices, the ease of using of them as well as social media and the Internet in general played a role.” The paper also attributes that to Armenia’s “more mature society” that has spawned new and well-organized civil groups involving many young people.
“The situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani frontlines is tense, and many think that the risk of renewed war has never been so great after the signing of the 1994 ceasefire agreement,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “And in this situation, the U.S. group Global Financial Integrity has released a report according to which about $9.8 billion was illegally taken out of Armenia from 2004-2013. This is an awful lot of money for Armenia.” The pro-opposition paper says this cash outflows dealt a serious blow to national security and the Armenian authorities did nothing to stop them.
Speaking to “Haykakan Zhamanak,” Ara Harutiunian, the Karabakh prime minister, rules out the possibility of the deployment of Russian peacekeeping forces in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict zone “at this stage.” “We would have to discuss, calculate and look into the expediency of such a thing,” he says.