“Zhamanak” says Prime Minister Karen Karapetian’s remark that he is eligible to stay on as prime minister after April 2018 was primarily addressed to Armenia’s political leadership, rather than the public. Karapetian, the paper speculates, is thus making it clear that he would not let President Serzh Sarkisian use a constitutional clause, effective from April 2018, to sack him. Sarkisian would therefore need a different pretext should he decide to fire Karapetian, it claims.
“Zhoghovurd” notes that the official number of Armenia’s eligible voters released by the police keeps growing despite a continuing shrinkage of the country’s population. The latest list submitted by the police to the Central Election Commission (CEC) contains the names of nearly 2.6 million voters. The paper points out that the official results of a census conducted in 2011 put the country’s population at about 2.9 million. “Experts estimate that voters generally make up 60-65 percent of a country’s population,” it says, dismissing the voter lists as grossly inflated.
“Aravot” says that unlike Azerbaijan, Armenia has no oil or gas and its rulers have to at least somewhat reckon with domestic public opinion as well as official reactions from the United States and the European Union. “Instead, our authorities can say [to the opposition] that ‘we won’t cede our posts even if you get 100 percent of the vote,’” editorializes the paper. “They have gotten away with that.”
Karen Bekarian, a parliament deputy from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the constitutional referendum in Nagorno-Karabakh is good for eventual international recognition of its independence. Bekarian claims that the international community cannot fail to see the ongoing “democratic process” in Karabakh. “One needs to see that this is having an appropriate effect on everyone,” he says.