“Aravot” pays tribute to Armenia’s post-Soviet constitution on the 22nd anniversary of its adoption in a disputed referendum held in July 1995. The paper says that the constitution is one of the key state symbols that should be respected by Armenians even if it has not been enforced by successive governments in Yerevan. “Wrong things may be written in the constitution,” editorializes the paper. “Constitutional provisions are not necessarily enforced, which is certainly the case. Courts may be dependent [on the government] and corrupt. This also happens often times. But to extend our cynicism and nihilism to state institutions means to contribute to their being weak and underdeveloped.”
“Hraparak” quotes Mane Tandilian, a parliament deputy from the opposition Yelk alliance, as criticizing the Armenian government’s decision to use more water from Lake Sevan for irrigation and power generation. “We see serious corruption risks here,” she says. “When we speak of [the extra] 100 million cubic meters of water we are told that only 40 million cubic meters will reach farmers for irrigation purposes and that the remaining 60 percent will be lost. How did they calculate that? There are concerns that those 60 million cubic meters will benefit hydroelectric plants, resulting in extra profits that will not be taxed.”
“We really have a problem with serious oversight in the area of use of water,” Gagik Melikian, a senior lawmaker representing the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar,” commenting on an opposition argument that water losses have not decreased despite substantial government sums spent on refurbishing Armenia’s irrigation networks. “On the other hand, I don’t think that the losses are that big,” Melikian goes on. “I don’t exclude that we may have losses in the canals, but they are not large-scale. I am inclined to think that water reaches villages but its entire volume is not recorded because of a lack of necessary equipment. A lot needs to be done in that area.”
In an interview with “Past,” political commentator Manvel Sargsian says that popular demand for political changes in Armenia is not strong enough. “Unlike previous elections, these latest [parliamentary] elections were not followed by a wave of protests,” he says. “This is a very important fact. There may be different reasons for that.” The election outcome is viewed as natural by many Armenians, he adds.