“Zhamanak” echoes the opinion of “certain public circles” that the new bills putting the National Security Service and the Police in direct subordination to the next prime minister clearly indicate the desire of outgoing President Serzh Sarkisian to continue to stay in power as the head of the government when his term expires on April 9. “These two key security structures will enable future prime minister Serzh Sarkisian to control the whole domestic political spectrum,” writes the paper, stressing that unless Sarkisian aspired to become prime minister “this key leverage would not have been put in the hands of a possible future premier.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” notes that all representatives of Armenia’s top leadership visited the Yerablur pantheon in Yerevan on March 5 to pay tribute to the memory of slain prime minister Vazgen Sargsian who would have turned 59 that day. The paper reminds its readers that the previous time representatives of the elite visited the cemetery they did so on a minibus. “But yesterday the usual picture was restored. [President] Serzh Sarkisian, Parliament Speaker Ara Babloyan, Prime Minister Karen Karapetian, Defense Minister Vigen Sargsian and other medium and small-level officials put up quite an automobile display at the pantheon’s parking place. Everything returned to its usual pattern,” the paper writes sardonically.
“Zhoghovurd” insists that the new prescription-only sale of certain medicines that became obligatory at pharmacies across Armenia on March 1 is unlawful. “The new order of drug sale has become a real headache for all. It turns out that the process is unlawful. The Ministry of Health has published on its website the list of medicines that are to be sold by prescription only and those that can be sold without prescription. But there is no mention of a legal decision on this account. There is no mention of it because there is no legal decision yet. The government still has to make it. This is, of course, a situation that should be dealt with on the basis of at least two penal code counts – arbitrariness and abuse of office, because without a legal decision the Ministry obliges pharmacies to sell some medicines by prescription only. Ordinary citizens are in a helpless situation as they don’t have the right to get sick at non-working hours or over the weekends when doctors at polyclinics are unavailable for writing out prescriptions.”