The parliament debates on constitutional reform are the central topic of Thursday’s Armenian press commentary.
“Neither the [ruling] coalition nor the opposition sounded convincing,” writes “Azg.” The paper says Armenians who followed the debate on TV hardly learned anything new about constitutional reform and its rationale. The discussions, it says, will be primarily remembered for personal attacks exchanged by representatives of the rival political camps. “They brilliantly forgot the subject under discussion and its significance.”
“Aravot” targets a pro-government deputy who made derogatory comments about Artashes Geghamian and other opposition lawmakers. “That level of thinking and culture is below that of the average citizen of Armenia,” says the paper. “It once again proves that those deputies were not elected. As long as those individuals are deputies, it is meaningless to speak of other things.”
“If the main debates on constitutional changes did not end yesterday, brawls and stabbings in the parliament would be inevitable,” claims “Haykakan Zhamanak.”
“The opposition exposed its real desire by creating an imitation of its participation in the discussions,” says “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun.” The government-controlled paper says the opposition leaders could not have missed the opportunity to address Armenians live on television. It says they also could not have defied the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe which urged an end to the opposition boycott of the National Assembly.
“Now, who owns our electricity distribution networks: Midland Resources or RAO UES?” asks “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “The chairman of the Public Service Regulatory Commission, Robert Nazarian, is convinced that if Midland Resources is listed in the state registry as the owner of the network shares, then it is the owner. But many lawyers are convinced that under international business rules the real owner is the one that manages the [company’s] profits. Namely, RAO UES.”
“168 Zham” analyzes the steady decrease in the number of schoolchildren in Armenia, attributing it to a falling birthrate and post-Soviet out-migration. “The negative demographic effects will be felt by secondary schools, the system of higher education and the army,” says the paper. “But those effects will not be felt by the labor market, both now and in the foreseeable future, due to a lack of real jobs.”