“Hraparak” takes very seriously opposition claims that 76 members of Armenia’s parliament engage in entrepreneurial activity in contravention of the Armenian constitution and laws. “You may object that they are the founders of their businesses or simply chairmen of their managing boards or shareholders, rather than individuals doing business,” writes the paper. “But in reality, all these individuals commit fraud by pretending that they are not entrepreneurs and deceiving not only voters but also the constitution and laws.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” carries an interview with one of those 76 deputies, Vahe Hakobian of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). “I believe that every person must stick to the letter and the spirit of the constitution,” says Hakobian. “Yes, I am an owner, I have businesses but those are our family businesses. My father, my brother run them. But I don’t do business at all.” He argues that the constitution does not ban legislators from owning real property, companies or anything else.
“168 Zham” says that the prosecution of seven activists of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) could have a serious impact on further political processes in Armenia. “Especially given that the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) is expected to discuss the situation in Armenia at its next session in September,” says the paper.
It quotes Arman Grigorian, the HAK representative to the PACE, as saying that he has already informed the PACE rapporteurs on Armenia about the arrests. “I certainly think that the Council of Europe could somehow react to that,” says Grigorian. “But hopefully there will be no need for that. But if there is, I think that the Council of Europe will not stay silent.”
“Aravot” believes that neither a revolution nor early elections are a good thing for Armenia. “In the next few decades, Armenia will not have a legitimate government regardless of when elections are held,” editorializes the paper. “If the HAK sets up ‘revolutionary committees,’ if young HAK activists maintain public order on the street and if decisions are made in Liberty Square by a majority of votes or use of throats, that too won’t contribute to Armenia’s progress. No regular or pre-term process will change the socioeconomic situation, the level of democracy in our country in the near future. So is everything hopeless and should everyone give up and just complain about life? No, quite the opposite. We should gear up for a daily, lengthy work.”