“Zhamanak” considers former Prime Minister Armen Sarkissian’s election as Armenia’s next president to be a forgone conclusion. The paper says that as president Sarkissian will derive his clout not so much from that position as his “capital and international connections.” It says that those connections will help him somewhat make up for a lack of executive powers to be vested in the presidency.
“Inviting an official from abroad seems to be becoming a nice tradition in our country,” writes “Hraparak.” “Less than two years after inviting a prime minister from Russia we are inviting a president of Armenia from Great Britain. In essence, both men [Karen Karapetian an Armen Sarkissian] are carriers of the culture and the environment of the foreign countries where they have lived.” The paper is skeptical about either man’s readiness or ability to “change anything and improve life” in Armenia.
“Aravot” comments on a government bill which would expand a legal ban on smoking in public places and drastically toughen financial penalties for people violating it. The paper voices support for the proposed measures but say the authorities have yet to come up with workable mechanisms for enforcing them. It also says that heavier fines are not necessarily the right way to curb smoking. It argues that existing, much smaller fines have never been enforced by relevant authorities.