(Saturday, November 19)
“Zhoghovurd” reports that Russia’s ambassador to the UNESCO, Eleonora Mitrofanova, has called for the Russian language to be given a “special status” across the former Soviet Union. The paper notes with alarm that Russian officials are increasingly unrestrained in demonstrating their “imperialist ambitions” to rebuild the ex-USSR. It recalls President Vladimir Putin’s famous remark that the Soviet collapse was the “greatest catastrophe” of the 20th century. It claims that Armenia’s leadership is not steadfast enough in resisting Moscow’s geopolitical plans.
“Hraparak” says that Armenian political parties are already gearing up for the April 2017 parliamentary elections by holding conventions, commissioning confidential opinion polls and taking other actions. “But the most experienced of them have already realized that under the new Electoral Code … people will be voting not for a particular party but for individuals,” writes the paper. It says the code puts in a strong position those parties -- and the ruling Republican Party (HHK) in particular -- that will nominate a bunch of influential persons in each of Armenia’s ten provinces. The 2017 elections will therefore be very different from the polls held in 2012, it says.
“Aravot” comments on a newly enacted law that allows the Armenian government to introduce a new tax that will finance compensations to be paid to the families of Armenian soldiers killed or gravely wounded in action. The paper says the government will minimize opposition to the compensation scheme if it makes the new tax optional. It says that some people would opt out of the tax on very different grounds, including the most incredible ones. “And that would not have to be seen as a condemnable phenomenon,” the paper says. “The main problem with the establishment of the [compensation] fund would thus be solved.”