“Zhamanak” speculates that only a “psychological barrier” can keep President Serzh Sarkisian from continuing to govern Armenia after the end of his final term in April next year. The paper points out that none of Sarkisian’s predecessors, Robert Kocharian and Levon Ter-Petrosian, stayed in power for more than ten years. It says that despite amending the Armenian constitutional in his own interests, Sarkisian “has not yet completely overcome the psychological barrier to exceeding a ten-year tenure.”
“Zhoghovurd” says that a new anti-corruption body that will be set up by the Armenian government soon will hardly make a difference. The paper argues that corruption in Armenia has a systemic character and that Armenian courts remain subordinate to the government. “In this regard, there is not much room for optimism about the creation of the new body,” it says. “It is certainly good that the authorities are at least speaking of their political will to combat corruption. The problem is that the existence of such a will was also emphasized by them during the establishment of the [government’s] Anti-Corruption Council three years ago.
“Aravot” condemns the Armenian police for refusing to prosecute a member of a precinct election commission in Yerevan who insulted and threatened to beat up one of its female reporters during the recent parliamentary elections. “With such a stance, the police give the green light to new attacks on journalists by hooligans,” editorializes the paper. “Acting in the name of the authorities, the police are telling neighborhood thugs that they are free to do anything during elections.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” heaps praise on the annual Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity created by three prominent Diaspora Armenians in memory of the victims of the 1915 Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey. “One should hope that the Aurora initiative will gain more international recognition and prestige each year,” writes the paper. “Armenia would benefit from that more than it has benefited from all the financial assistance from Diaspora Armenian philanthropists that has been provided to date.”