“168 Zham” expects the adoption of a new Electoral Code reflecting Armenia’s newly amended constitution to dominate the domestic political discourse in the months ahead. “What the authorities could not include in the constitution they will try to by means of the Electoral Code,” writes the paper. “How successful will they be? That depends on resistance.” It says the authorities did not face much resistance from the Armenian opposition in advance of the December 6 referendum.
“Why is it that those who support the constitutional reform do not protest against vote rigging [in the December 6 referendum?]” writes “Hraparak.” The paper also asks: “Don’t the authorities and the ruling political force realize that they can’t carry on like this and that the country cannot develop in this environment of public hatred and distrust towards elections?”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that Ruben Hakobian, a parliament deputy until recently affiliated with the opposition Zharangutyun party, has said that he will back the Armenian National Congress (HAK) appeal against the official referendum results only if the opposition admits that another constitutional referendum held in 1995 was also rigged. The paper sympathetic to the HAK ridicules this condition. It predicts that Hakobian will soon rejoin the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), which too has declined to acknowledge serious fraud in the December 6 vote.
“Zhamanak” reports that the U.S. State Department on Wednesday welcomed a letter by over 80 members of the U.S. House of Representatives that called for specific safeguards against ceasefire violations in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. Those include withdrawal of Armenian and Azerbaijani snipers from the frontlines. “Only those who are against marinating peace and stability in the conflict zone can oppose this U.S. proposal,” comments the paper. It says they will now have to admit and expose their opposition and, therefore, shoulder responsibility for truce violations.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian on Wednesday “finally” admitted that Turkish military helicopters violated Armenia’s airspace in early October. The paper says that Ohanian was at the same time careful not to speculate about the possibility of more such incidents in the light of ongoing Russian-Turkish tensions.