“Zhamanak” says that nobody had doubted that the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) will use “all possible illegal means and resources” at its disposal to push through President Serzh Sarkisian’s constitutional changes in the December 6 referendum. The paper therefore dismisses as “irrational” the current opposition allegations that the authorities are preparing to rig the referendum. It says that such alarms always fell on deaf ears in the run-up to past Armenian elections.
“Zhoghovurd” reports that relatives of some of the Armenian officials killed in the October, 27, 1996 attack on the National Assembly on Wednesday reiterated their belief that the shootings can be fully solved only after regime change in Armenia. The paper agrees with them in that the Armenian authorities have withheld the truth about the shock massacre and are responsible for at least failing to prevent it. “But there is also another side to the story,” it says. “What have the victims’ relatives and party comrades themselves done to solve the case? Why didn’t they make use of possibilities given to them as well as huge public support enjoyed by them in the past?”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” also discusses the 16th anniversary of the parliament shootings, saying that they changed “the whole logic of Armenia’s development.” “Within hours, allies became traitors, traitors became criminals and politicians became tools,” writes the paper.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reveals a 14 percent drop in taxes paid this year by companies belonging to Samvel Aleksanian, one of Armenia’s richest men who controls lucrative imports of several basic foodstuffs to the country. The paper notes in this regard that food prices around the world have fallen by an average of at least 20 percent since the beginning of 2015. In Armenia, however, they have gone up by around 4 percent in dollar terms. “Taking into account the dram’s depreciation, we can conclude that the cost of food in Armenia has risen by about 10 percent,” the paper says. “That 10 percent is extra revenue earned by food importers.” It says that Aleksanian should have on the contrary paid more taxes as a result.
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports on gunfire that erupted on Tuesday when the U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group crossed the Armenian-Azerbaijani “line of contact” around Nagorno-Karabakh. The paper describes the incident the latest in a series of Azerbaijani “provocations” which it says are made possible by the international mediators’ reluctance to openly blame Baku for truce violations in the Karabakh conflict zone.