“Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that after it became clear that President Serzh Sarkisian will break his pledge by becoming Armenia’s next prime minister, a considerable part of the Armenian society has grown disillusioned with the promised democratic progress that was to be achieved by transforming Armenia from a presidential to a parliamentary republic. “Increasing the powers of the future prime minister has now become the sole occupation of both the government and the legislature. The government is busy drafting laws as a result of which the future prime minister will have obscenely broad powers,” the daily writes.
“Zhamanak” suggests that the current prime minister, Karen Karapetian, has found himself in a very uncomfortable situation: “Hardly a day goes by without a member of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia publicly diminishing Karapetian’s state administration skills, saying that he has not sufficient background to handle foreign policy affairs and security issues. But the thing is that no matter how focused the current prime minister is on the economy, Armenia is still a semi-presidential state and its prime minister is not only an economic manager, but also a political figure.”
“Hraparak” echoes criticism of the presidential administration for the controversial awards ceremony involving a group of women, including sitcom playwright and producer Diana Grigorian, whom human rights organizations have criticized for diminishing the role of women. “After every ceremony of awarding state medals to individuals the Armenian society experiences a shock: how is it possible to bestow the title of Honored Artist on [U.S.-based Armenian pop singer Armen Gondrachian] Armenchik or give a Movses Khorenatsi medal to Diana Grigorian? But neither the awarder nor the public draw any conclusions. Meanwhile, both sides should revisit their attitudes. The authorities, represented by [President] Serzh Sarkisian, should realize that these titles and medals are not the property of any individual, including the president of Armenia. They are a means to honor people’s achievements and merits,” the paper writes.