(Saturday, September 19)
“Zhamanak” is impressed with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement issued on Friday in connection with Armenia’s Independence Day. In particular, Kerry said that U.S.-Armenian relations “remain as strong as ever.” The pro-Western paper describes as unprecedented the fact that Kerry also mentioned Armenia soldiers’ participation in NATO-led multinational peacekeeping operations. It also contends that Armenia’s national interests are “truly convergent” with U.S. interests. “The United States once again offers its support and expects partnership from Armenia,” it says.
“168 Zham” reports that dozens of deputies from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) went out of their way to promote President Serzh Sarkisian’s constitutional changes during parliamentary debates on Friday. The paper attributes this to their desire to secure their presence in Armenia’s next parliament, which will have fewer seats. “The deputies are already trying to show Serzh Sarkisian that they are particularly aggressive in fighting for the passage of the constitutional changes,” it says. “The constitutional changes may really ensure revolutionary progress for Armenia and contribute to the development of democracy. But the way in which government representatives are promoting them is not nice, to put it mildly.”
“Hraparak” also notes that an unusually large number of HHK lawmakers delivered speeches on the parliament floor. “Some speeches featured the phrase ‘unprecedented discussion,’” writes the paper. “But for those who followed the proceedings from the sidelines, the discussion was not unprecedented and the views [expressed by deputies] were not exclusive. Nor did anyone say anything extraordinary.”
“Aravot” says that opposition lawmakers spent the past four days launching “ugly” verbal attacks on Serzh Sarkisian, instead of clearly explaining why they think his constitutional changes are bad for Armenia. Their pro-government colleagues hit back in an equally ugly fashion. “The objective of both sides is to manipulate the people, to make them support or oppose a revolution,” says the paper.