“Hraparak” reports on dramatic protests that were held on Saturday by relatives of an Armenian army soldier who was shot and killed by a fellow conscript for still unclear reasons this month. They threatened to bring his body to Yerevan and put it on display in a square facing the prime minister’s office. Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian and the Armenian police chief, Vladimir Gasparian, persuaded them not do that during a heated meeting on a highway leading to Yerevan.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” comments on Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian’s pledge to carry out a “revolution in mindsets” that would radically transform Armenia. “Imagine that after such a revolution in the people’s mentality nobody accepts vote bribes and succumbs to government pressures,” writes the paper. “Where will Serzh Sarkisian, Tigran Sarkisian and dozens of other high-ranking officials will find themselves in that case? Therefore, it is quite likely that Tigran Sarkisian spoke of changing mentality of high-ranking officials, rather than the people. But that means that the criminal mentality of these authorities is at the heart of Armenia’s problems.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” disapproves of the government’s plans to subsidize the new, higher price of natural gas in Armenia. “Why should taxpayers’ money be channeled into ArmRosGazprom, rather than economic development?” asks the paper. “As for where the government will get the money from, that problem can be solved very simply: let them impose a state monopoly on vodka, drugs and mandatory car insurance.”
Deputy parliament speaker Hermine Naghdalian tells “Irates de facto” that the presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections of the past year have demonstrated that the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) remains in full control of the domestic political arena. “As have predicted before, the main developments are taking place in the opposition camp,” says Naghdalian. “The ongoing developments testify to the fact that that camp has still not established itself.”
“Public trust in the state apparatus is at a dangerously low level,” writes “Orakarg.” “That is the reason why citizens appeal to the president of the republic in connection with elementary problems ranging from hailstorms or wage arrears. In terms of functions, the institution of the president has become so petty and depreciated that the public associates the president with a governor, village mayor, factory manager or at best an agriculture minister. And not without grounds. This public perception is quite dangerous for the state system. The government and the National Assembly have become appendages to the presidential administration, limiting their right to make decisions on their own.”