Eduard Sharmazanov, the spokesman for the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that the Armenian authorities are not obliged to accept all of the recommendations on constitutional reform made by the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission. “The opinion of the Venice Commission is very important in the professional sense,” he says. “And the Venice Commission has made a positive evaluation of the most important provisions [of the planned constitutional reform.]”
“Hraparak” reports that the opposition Orinats Yerkir party will boycott President Serzh Sarkisian’s upcoming consultations with major Armenian factions that will center on constitutional changes sought by him. Hovannes Markarian, a senior Orinats Yerkir member, tells the paper that the presidential commission on constitutional reform has not accepted any of the proposals submitted by his party. “Given that, what is the point of going to a meeting [with the president?]” he says. Markarian at the same time does not clarify whether Orinats Yerkir will join a campaign against the reform planned by another, more radical opposition party, the Armenian National Congress (HAK).
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” fears that another opposition party, Prosperous Armenia (BHK), may end up backing the constitutional amendments. “Prosperous Armenia continues to keep silent [on the issue,] constantly inventing pretexts for not presenting its views,” writes the pro-HAK daily. “They had better clarify their stance now so that the public does not feel deceived later on.”
“Armenia is faced with the danger of finding itself under the ruins of Russia’s crumbling economy,” claims 1in.am. “In essence, no major step, in terms of economic policy, is being taken to help Armenia escape those ruins. What is more, Armenia is continuing to behave like an economic-political appendage of Russia. It tries to justify that with objective factors, while asking for funding from the West to ease economic hardship. The West allocates such funding in one way or another. But it is hard to tell how long this cat-and-mouse game can continue in the absence of genuine economic reforms.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the three officials representing Armenia at the executive body of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) each earn $12,000 per month. The paper says that they have also been provided with free housing in the center of Moscow.