(Saturday, July 11)
“168 Zham” says the recent “Electric Yerevan” protests exposed the declining role of political parties in Armenia’s political and social life. The paper says that opposition parties are now not even threatening to mount fresh challenges against the government after the traditional summer lull in political activity in the country. “Actually this autumn can be heated because the text of constitutional changes [drafted by a presidential commission] is due to be presented to the National Assembly in late August,” it says. “The political life will center on them not only in the autumn but also after it.”
“Zhamanak” says that President Serzh Sarkisian may have made clear that he will not seek to become prime minister in case of Armenia’s transformation into a parliamentary republic but he has not ruled out the possibility of occupying other top positions, notably that of parliament speaker. The paper believes that the next Armenian prime minister will be Sarkisian’s handpicked successor.
Gagik Ghazinian, a member of the presidential commission on constitutional reform, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that its draft constitutional amendments will be fully submitted to Sarkisian early next month. Assuming that they are approved by the head of state, they will be sent to the parliament later in August, he says.
“Aravot” says that the “Electric Yerevan” activists would be wrong to add regime change to the list of their demands addressed to the government. “True, unemployed people and pensioners as well as some students hanging around at Liberty Square would be in favor of a radical and uncompromising slogan,” editorializes the paper. “But history knows no cases where pensioners carried out regime change.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that the June 9 rally in Liberty Square marked the end of the protests against the electricity price hike. The paper says that the rally was not only poorly attended but also short of substance.