“Zhamanak” says that although it is already obvious that Serzh Sarkisian will become prime minister and extend his rule in April he has still not made an official announcement to that effect. “It’s not that someone in some place does not want Serzh Sarkisian to become prime minister,” writes the paper. “The situation is totally different. Before publicizing his final decision Serzh Sarkisian needs to calculate the scope of responsibility stemming from that decision. That is, what short-term and mid-term challenges and risks will confront the prime minister to be appointed on April 17.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that nobody will challenge Sarkisian for the post of prime minister. “The fact is that Serzh Sarkissian is going to be the next prime minister,” writes the paper. “Not because he is the best [candidate] in terms of professional and human qualities but because he has for years consistently done everything to ensure that nobody except him can aspire to the status of the number one state figure.”
“Zhoghovurd” reports on some legal experts’ and opposition politicians’ claim that the next president of the republic must be elected by popular vote, rather than the parliament, in accordance with the Armenian constitution. Their main argument is that a constitutional provision mandating the president’s election by the parliament has not yet taken effect. The Armenian authorities point to other, transitional clauses in response to the critics’ claims. The paper says that the opposition Yelk alliance wants to ask the Constitutional Court to pass judgment on the matter but lacks at least 21 signatures of parliament deputies needed for such an appeal. Yelk has asked deputies from the Tsarukian Bloc provide the necessary signatures.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that starting from March 1 drug stores in Armenia will not be allowed to sell some types of medication without written prescriptions signed by doctors. The paper says that the restriction imposed by the Armenian Health Ministry will make life harder for residents of remote villages that do not have policlinics or other medical institutions empowered to issue drug prescriptions. “There are already predictions that the new rules will lead to an increase in ambulance calls,” it says. It also claims that drug prices will rise as a result.