“Zhoghovurd” reports and comments on “interesting” messages sent by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian at the start of parliament debates on his government’s policy program on Tuesday. The paper says that Pashinian has reason to believe in the success of the “economic revolution” promised by him. “The velvet revolution succeeded because every citizen felt that they are a factor in that struggle,” it says. “But did every member of the public transform themselves during those political processes? Are they prepared to adopt the same method in the economic sense as well? The state’s actions are now essential in the task of the economic revolution. Do the authorities guarantee a soft tax administration and a stable economic legal framework?”
“Zhamanak” says Pashinian also claimed to be making “revolutionary” moves in peace talks with Azerbaijan. “In effect, it is quite difficult for the general public to see the revolutionary character of the new authorities’ policy on the Karabakh issue,” writes the paper. “On the other hand, it is evident that they have made statements that are significantly different from Yerevan’s past rhetoric.” It points to Pashinian’s regular statements to the effect that he does not have a mandate to negotiate on behalf of the Karabakh Armenians and that the Armenian side must not be the primary target of international calls for a compromise peace accord. The paper goes on to speculate that Pashinian’s next step may be to reject the so-called Madrid Principles of a Karabakh settlement advanced by the U.S., Russian and French mediators for the past decade.
“Aravot” suggests that many Armenians have still not realized what local self-rule is all about. “Many, including community chiefs, think that the heads of local government bodies are like the managers of [Soviet] collective farms that are effectively subordinate to the secretary of the [Communist Party’s] district committee and are fully dependent on the latter’s whims,” the paper says in an editorial. “Most village mayors have already left the [former ruling] HHK. They never really cared about the HHK, just like they hadn’t cared about the HHSh (the previous ruling party) and the Communist Party. These individuals don’t care about politics. They have joined parties in order to sort out their personal and community issues. It must be pointed out that the current authorities are not forcing them to join [Pashinian’s] Civil Contract. But that alone cannot change their centuries-old mentality and relationships.”