“Zhamanak” is unimpressed by a “roadmap to regime change” that was released on Wednesday by the New Armenia Public Salvation Front, a radical opposition movement. The paper says that the one-page document is more of a declaration of goals than a plan of concrete actions aimed at achieving them. “One should not be surprised if this publicized document does not receive broad-based political attention and support,” it says. “Armenian opposition forces should come up with a roadmap for changing the society before looking for the most effective ways of effecting regime change.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” insists that the main motive behind the new Electoral Code drafted by President Serzh Sarkisian’s administration is to minimize protests after next year’s parliamentary elections. “So it is natural that in this situation the authorities are primarily targeting potential noise-makers: journalists and observers,” writes the pro-opposition daily. It points to a clause in the draft code liming the number of journalists and election observers that could be present at polling stations. In this regard, it quotes Samvel Nikoyan, a senior lawmaker from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), as saying that some Armenian civic groups have a vested interest in seeing imaginary or real electoral fraud in order to continue getting funding from abroad and justify their existence.
“Zhoghovurd” expects economic issues to be on the agenda of Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze’s visit to Armenia which is scheduled to start on Thursday. “In particular, for quite a while there has been talk of transporting Iranian natural gas to Georgia via Armenia,” writes the paper. “Georgia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze pointed to the need to secure Armenia’s permission for such a deal during his visit to Tehran about a month ago. The ambiguous situation with the deliveries of Russian gas to Armenia via Georgia is no less pressing in the context of both Russian-Georgian and Russian-Armenian negotiations [on gas supplies.]”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Armenia’s State Revenue Committee has received over 690 million drams ($1.4 million) in additional government funding for the ongoing construction of its “infamous training center” near the resort town of Dilijan. The paper believes that the facility will be used by tax and customs officials for leisure, rather than educational, purposes.