“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland, who has arrived in Yerevan to take part in a forum entitled “For the Future of Democracy”, “may visit political prisoners in Armenian jails after a request by a group of local non-governmental organizations.”
“Eleven organizations have asked the Council of Europe secretary general to put pressure on the Armenian authorities to immediately release all political prisoners and ensure that an independent and unbiased probe is conducted into the 2008 post-election clashes.”
The pro-opposition paper carries the opinion of the organizations concerned that “Jagland’s visiting the political prisoners will make Armenia’s authorities release them.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” sees a reason for giving “a serious thought” to the coincidence of the revelation of the “Armenian mafia” in the United States and the autumn “activity” of Armenia’s radical opposition.
“Since the first assigner of roles is very concerned about losing ground in the region after the signing of the Russo-Armenian protocols [on extending the term of Russian military presence in Armenia] and the second is making persistent attempts to link the activities of the “Armenian mafia” in the United States with Armenia and its authorities,” the paper claims.
In an interview with “Iravunk de facto” Armen Martirosian, a member of the opposition Heritage faction in the Armenian parliament, voices doubts that the current president Serzh Sarkisian will sign any agreement regarding Nagorno-Karabakh.
“He clearly realizes that any agreement will definitely have a negative perception. I mean an agreement that will fail to uphold Nagorno-Karabakh’s territorial integrity. No normal political force or people accept this step. Should the government make that step, it will be a matter of days or hours for it to remain in power,” the opposition lawmaker says.
David Harutiunian, who heads the Armenian National Assembly’s standing committee on state and legal affairs, speaks to “Aravot” on the Electoral Code reform. In regards to the proposals made by the opposition, Harutiunian says: “Some proposals have nothing to do with the Venice Commission, such as, for example, scrapping elections from single-mandate constituencies. An [all] party-list electoral system is known for its several flaws, primarily the fact that regions do not get an opportunity to be [properly] represented in the legislature. Secondly, the link between constituencies and their delegates is severed. So I don’t think this is the best option at this stage.”