“Zhamanak” notes the absence of Prime Minister Karen Karapetian from two major events held in Yerevan yesterday when the Tashir group of companies owned by Russia-based billionaire Samvel Karapetian inaugurated another shopping mall in Yerevan and launched jointly with partners a project promising an investment of a total of $1 billion in Armenia’s energy sector over the next few years. “The thing is that Samvel Karapetian is practically considered as a social-political support base for Karen Karapetian and it is within this logic that the Armenian Investors Club was established with Samvel Karapetian’s clear leadership. The outlines of the first portion of investments of this club are now becoming clear and this is being made in President Serzh Sarkisian’s presence, while Karen Karapetian is absent from the events. Does this mean that there is more certainty in the matter of power?”
“Zhoghovurd” observers that for the third straight year the government plans no rise in pensions in its draft budget - this time no such rise in planned for 2018. The last time pensions were slightly raised was in 2015 when the government was headed by Hovik Abrahamian. “No rise in pensions has taken place under Prime Minister Karen Karapetian and no rise in planned for next year. As a result, in conditions of rising prices, more than half a million pensioners of the country have become even poorer, while the government continues to feed the public with promises of sizable investments,” the daily writes.
“Hraparak” writes: “Within a few months our country will finally complete its transition towards a parliamentary republic as all institutions envisaged by the new Constitution will be formed. It is then that it will become clear whether all this has been done for one purpose – to keep Serzh Sarkisian and his team in power – or it will really bring in its wake more democratization in the country.”
The editor of “Aravot” writes on last week’s ruling by the Constitutional Court on the situation in the municipal council of Vanadzor where a pro-government minority proceeds with its work and decision-making despite the boycott of the opposition parties enjoying a majority. He notes that the sides have diametrically opposite views on the legal decision: “It is here that an impartial non-political legal expert should give his assessment to explain to us what the Constitutional Court’s ruling means. Because MP Edmon Marukian thinks that the ruling means that Vanadzor’s municipal council should be dissolved and new municipal elections should be held and current mayor Mamikon Aslanian thinks that nothing proceeds from the ruling and that they will continue to hold power in the city as they have done so far.”