“Zhoghovurd” reports that Arakel Movsisian, a notorious parliament deputy from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), shouted abuse at an opposition colleague, Nikol Pashinian, during the Armenian government’s question-and-answer session in the National Assembly on Wednesday. “Once again, Arakel Movsisian, also known as “Shmays,” is trying to please his party boss with such despicable deeds,” comments the paper. “Judging from the fact that Movsisian is becoming increasingly unrestrained in his thuggish conduct, his party boss [President Serzh Sarkisian] likes such manifestations of loyalty.” Ironically, the paper says, the ugly incident took place on the same day that the Armenian parliament passed a bill toughening disciplinary action against its members involved in unethical conduct.
“It is evident that this makeup of the National Assembly makes it impossible for any statutes or parliamentary commissions to change things,” “Zhoghovurd” goes on. “And yet the public remembers Serzh Sarkisian saying before that being a Republican is not only an honor but also obligation and that every HHK member is responsible for not only their but also their friends’ and relatives’ behavior.”
“Zhamanak” is not surprised that the HHK’s reaction to former Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian’s plans to set up a new opposition party has been “fairly calm” so far. “Why would the Republicans be worried?” writes the paper. “On the contrary, such a party, even if it opts for toughest positions and rhetoric, is a gift [for the HHK.] Refusing to accept it would be foolish.” It argues that Oskanian and the HHK share a “10-year experience of joint governance” during former President Robert Kocharian’s rule, something which allows President Sarkisian to hold the ex-minister in check.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” criticizes the authorities for defending what their critics regard as disproportionately high prices of electricity, natural gas and gasoline in Armenia. The paper points out that the same energy tariffs are much lower in other Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) member states: Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. It suggests that government corruption in Armenia is the main factor behind this price gap.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reveals, meanwhile, that cement produced by the largest Armenian cement plan owned by businessman Gagik Tsarukian costs significantly less in Georgia than in Armenia. “Our economy is regulated by unwritten laws whereby its [lucrative] sectors are divided among several oligarchs,” says the paper. “If a business outsider attempts to import cheap cement to Armenia he will strongly annoy the owner of the Ararat-Cement plant, Gagik Tsarukian. “By the same token, an importer of cheap sugar would upset Samvel Aleksanian … That is why our market is closed to business outsiders.”