(Saturday, June 24)
“Hraparak” lists a number of important unanswered questions relating to Armenia’s political future and, in particular, President Serzh Sarkisian’s plans for next year. “Part of the reason for this is that some of their answers depend on geopolitical realities … rather than ourselves,” editorializes the paper. “But some issues are within the domain of our decisions. But even there we have no certainty. Why? What keeps the ruling party, which likes to claim that it received a mandate from the vast majority of the public, from stating who its prime minister and deputy prime minister will be in 2018?”
Interviewed by “Past,” Gevorg Gorgisian, a parliament deputy from the opposition Yelk alliance, criticizes the “weak” policy program of Prime Minister Karen Karapetian’s government which was approved by the Armenian parliament last week. He argues that the program says nothing about ambitious infrastructure projects such as the construction of a new nuclear power plant or a railway connecting Armenia to Iran. Gorgisian believes that a new nuclear plant is vital for Armenia’s energy security.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” criticizes the Armenian government for allocating free of charge a large plot of land in Yerevan to two private agribusiness companies that have pledged to build a food-processing complex there. “If it’s such a good investment project, why did the [Yerevan] municipality keep the draft decision secret and publicize it only at the last minute?” asks the paper. “After all, it’s not the first time that [Yerevan Mayor] Taron Markarian is delivering such surprises.” It claims that the “extremely dubious deal” is a manifestation of corruption within the government and the Yerevan municipality.
“Hayots Ashkhar” claims that the latest statements by the United States, Russia and France highlight the failure of Azerbaijan’s policy of keeping tensions on the Nagorno-Karabakh frontlines high through attempted armed incursions into Karabakh Armenian positions. “The clear unanimity which the international community is demonstrating now on the increased tension on the Karabakh-Azerbaijani line of contact and deaths of soldiers should not be seen as an ordinary demonstration of diplomatic posture.” The mediating powers are trying hard to prevent a full-scale war, it says.