“Zhamanak” continues to voice skepticism about negotiations held by the Armenian government and opposition and civic groups over Armenia’s new Electoral Code. The paper also criticizes media outlets sympathetic to Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenia National Congress (HAK) for condemning skeptics, among them other opposition parties, as secret government agents or collaborators. It says that both negotiating parties are imitating a dialogue in an attempt to score political points, rather than foster the proper conduct of next year’s Armenian parliamentary elections.
“Zhoghovurd” also has no positive expectations from the talks. “Judging from government representatives statements after the first meeting to the effect that concessions [to the opposition] are out of question … it can already be concluded that this 4+4+4 format will ultimately help to legitimize the debate on the [government-drafted] Electoral Code and distract the domestic public and international structures from the problem [of electoral fraud,]” writes the paper.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that President Serzh Sarkisian urged the Armenian Diaspora in the United States to invest more in Armenia’s economy in a speech delivered in Boston on Wednesday. He said Armenian Americans should also promote Armenia among other potential U.S. investors. The pro-opposition paper claims that few of them will trust in Sarkisian’s assurances regarding Armenia’s supposedly favorable investment climate because it is widely known that the president’s family and relatives have made huge fortunes during his rule.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” sees a “pauperization” of Armenia’s economy. The paper critical of the government bases this claim on official data showing that the country’s foreign debt has passed the $5 billion mark while the government’s tax revenue fell by 2 percent year on year in the first two months of this year. “It means that the country is earning less and borrowing more and more,” it says, adding that families living like this usually end up facing financial ruin.