“The idea of holding a referendum [in Karabakh] within 10 or 15 years is not understandable,” opposition leader Vazgen Manukian tells “Ayb-Fe.” “Why not now but in 10-15 years? I don’t think this is a serious approach to the issue.” Manukian claims that security guarantees allegedly offered to the Armenians by mediators are “absolutely unserious.”
“Ayb-Fe” agrees with Manukian. “It is our right to categorically reject the proposed ‘mutual compromise,’” writes the paper. “By walking away from agreements reached in Paris and Key West Azerbaijan has not lost anything. We too won’t lose from the collapse of that plan. We will lose unless we cause it to collapse.”
A leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) in Karabakh tells “Aravot” that the local branch of the nationalist party is opposed to any concessions to Azerbaijan at this point. “We are strongly against any option of a return of territories,” says Zhirayr Shahijanian. “This is part of our party line.” But Armenian Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian thinks otherwise, saying that no conflict in the world has been solved without “mutual concessions.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says the main Armenian fear regarding the referendum idea is that Azerbaijanis could eventually become a majority in Karabakh due to their higher birth rate.
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” reports that parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian spoke out on Thursday in favor of the Yerevan mayor’s election by a municipal council, rather than the city’s eligible voters. Baghdasarian claimed that this is a normal practice in “many countries of the world.”
“The mayor’s election by the [municipal] council of aldermen is even worse than his appointment by the president,” Vazgen Manukian counters in a “Hayots Ashkhar” interview. “In the latter case, we at least know whom to bring to task for the mayor’s poor work. Our elections of councils are exclusively clan-based and not political. They are held under the influence of political and financial resources, with the authorities simply appointing their people.”
“Yerkir” says that the Armenian opposition’s rejection of the authorities’ constitutional reform is tantamount to obstructing “the process of the country’s democratization.”
“Azg” is concerned about what it sees a continuing “bloating of the state bureaucracy” amid a widening income gap in the country. “In our small republic there is such a bloated state system that you willy-nilly wonder how our meager budget feeds the huge army of bureaucrats,” says the paper.