“Zhoghovurd” reports that the Armenian government is determined to complete a controversial reform of the national pension system that triggered street demonstrations in Yerevan in 2014. It will become mandatory in July for all Armenian workers self-employed individuals born after 1973. The paper is critical of the new pension system, saying that it should not be introduced in Armenia because average wages there are quite low. It says that a higher pension tax envisaged by the reform will only cut those wages in real terms.
“Zhamanak” says that hardly anyone was surprised by Gagik Tsarukian’s decision to endorse President Serzh Sarkisian’s pick for the next head of state, former Prime Minister Armen Sarkissian. The paper links this decision to what it sees as a “profound transformation of the government system in Armenia.” Tsarukian is keen to adapt to this ongoing change, it says.
“Building a party and making it a success in Armenia is a very difficult task,” writes “Hraparak.” “Especially if that party does not make use of government resources its chances of electoral success become slim … and the likelihood of splits within it greatly increases. That explains why the history of non-governing parties in Armenia has been one of volatility and upheavals. Such parties fail to achieve important results because financial resources and public platforms mainly serve pro-government forces.”
Karapet Rubinian, an opposition figure who has served as deputy speaker of the Armenian parliament in the past, tells “Aravot” that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s latest statements on “historic Azerbaijani lands” in Armenia may be a prelude to renewed fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh. Rubinian also speculates that Aliyev’s decision to bring Azerbaijan’s next presidential election forward by six months is apparently connected with the ongoing political transition in Armenia.