“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that with less than three months to go before the next parliamentary elections most Armenian political parties are in no rush to initiate electoral blocs as each of them thinks that others should be more interested in teaming up with it. “This situation is quite unserious and even ridiculous,” writes the paper. “Armenia is in dire straits and the unserious behavior of political forces is glaring.” It complains that they say nothing about ideas and programs that could be at the heart of their alliances.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Prime Minister Karen Karapetian on Thursday instructed the Armenian ministries of finance, economy, agriculture, defense and health to submit within 20 days joint proposals on how to foster more manufacturing activity that would substitute for imports of many goods to Armenia. The paper suggests that the move was inspired by the example of Russia, which has banned food imports from Europe and the United States as part of its geopolitical standoff with the West. It says that Karapetian’s decision makes sense “only in theory.” “In practice, import substitution cannot be done by the prime minister’s order, the government’s decision, a presidential decree or even the constitution. Import substitution can only be the result of an overall development of the economy.”
“Hraparak” reports that the prices of sugar and flour in Armenia have risen in the run-up to the April 2 elections. The paper claims this will also push up the prices of other key foodstuffs and thereby lower living standards in the country.
“Aravot” weighs in on a controversy resulting from the decision by the mayor of Nor Geghi, a large village 15 kilometers north of Yerevan, to name a village street and school after himself. “There are many feudal chieftains, notably village mayors, in Armenia,” editorializes the paper. “In normal countries, the elected head of a community understands that they temporarily perform their duties defined by the law, are supposed to serve their community and will eventually become an ordinary resident of that community. But in Armenia, a village mayor is a little king who can do whatever they want.” The problem, the paper says, is that many local residents have no problem with that. “Many don’t care what is going on in their villages, while others are dependent on village chiefs,” it says.