Analyzing the process of the publication of the new draft Electoral Code, “Zhamanak” writes: “It turns out that Armenia’s authorities sent to the Venice Commission [of Council of Europe experts] one thing and presented to the Armenian public another thing. In other words, it is a double game. It is not excluded that by means of this game the Armenian authorities are trying to maneuver and incorporate a few provisions into the legislation that are important for them but dangerous or undesirable for the public. It is not excluded that international experts gave a very negative evaluation to the draft and the Armenian authorities rushed to put into circulation a different version.”
The editor of “Aravot” laments the circumstance that the Armenian public first learned about the existence of a draft Electoral Code from the Venice Commission’s website. “A document that the Armenian society is not familiar with and around which even preliminary discussions were not held with the country’s opposition parties was first submitted to the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission, which decided to publish it, considering that it wasn’t at all a preliminary draft. It turns out that we first learn about our draft legislation from the website of an international organization’s body.”
“Zhoghovurd” expects that changes to be made in the draft Electoral Code as a result of parliamentary debate will be “insignificant”. “On the key matters, however, the government will remain adamant. So, we can state already now that under the new Electoral Code the life of political parties will become significantly more difficult,” the paper says.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” comments on the recent structural changes in the Armenian government. “[President] Serzh Sarkisian has again started his government reshuffling… And, of course, no reasons are presented to the public for the decisions to separate or merge ministries. Now ministries are divided with the same explanations that were used during their merger – raising the efficiency of work. And since there is no other explanation, the conclusion that can be drawn is that Sarkisian is doing everything only to strengthen his own positions in the government system.”