“Hayots Ashkhar” suggests that Ruben Hakobian was forced to step down as leader of the opposition Zharangutyun party’s parliamentary faction on Tuesday because of openly disapproving a controversial question that was asked by Zharangutyun’s Zaruhi Postanjian to President Serzh Sarkisian in Strasbourg. The paper says Hakobian’s stance might have angered Zharangutyun leader Raffi Hovannisian.
“Zhamanak” puts the issue in the context of broader disagreements within Armenia’s major political forces, including the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). The paper says this in turn results from a renewed intensification of “power struggle” in the country.
“The HHK exists only thanks to its administrative levers,” writes “Hraparak.” “As soon as it is stripped of power it will cease to exist as a party.” The paper says other parties are hardly in better shape. Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) is “dead but not buried,” while the three main opposition forces are in serious turmoil, it says. “As for the [pro-government] Orinats Yerkir Party it does not even warrant any discussion,” it adds.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports on what it sees as a new problem in Armenia’s ongoing transition to a new pension system based on the so-called pay-as-you-can principle. “The new system was designed for an Armenia that has its own currency and itself implements its fiscal-monetary policy,” explains the paper. “But it emerged on September 3 that Armenia is going to join the customs union, and the customs union is the first phase of the Eurasian Union.” It says the new Russian-led bloc is expected to have its own currency. “How would the new pension system function in these circumstances?” asks the paper. It says the Armenian Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs refused to answer this question on Tuesday.