“Haykakan Zhamanak” suggests that although most Armenians remain largely supportive of their government there has been a “certain rise in social tension” in Armenia exposed by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s recent visits to the country’s regions. The paper edited by Pashinian’s wife, Anna Hakobian, accuses opposition media of “skillfully exaggerating” the increased public discontent.
“They are succeeding in doing that because there is a certain gap between the people’s and the authorities’ ideas about the future of the state and the government’s functions,” it says. “If, for instance, a businessman had promised people 300,000 drams [in monthly wages] but actually pays them 100,000 drams or if enterprises suffer because of monopolies or if investments are delayed because of a sloppy bureaucrat or if banks fail to provide low-interest loans promised by them, people may stage protests and block roads. In those cases, the government does need to take serious action and immediately step in. But what is happening now has nothing to do with that.” The paper claims that Armenia’s former rulers are now “using their huge funds and immense experience of misleading people” to stir up protests against the current government.
“Zhoghovurd” slams “representatives of the judicial branch” for putting up “resistance” to the Armenian authorities. The paper says that judges who routinely executed orders issued by Armenia’s former presidents are now stressing the importance of judicial independence. It singles out Hrayr Tovmasian, the chairman of the Constitutional Court, for criticism, saying that his latest public response to harsh criticism voiced by Pashinian contained “elements of abuse of power.” “The chairman of Armenia’s Constitutional Court dares to hit back at Armenia’s prime minister, spicing up his words with admonitions, advice and warnings,” it says.
According to Lragir.am, a parliament deputy from the opposition Bright Armenia Party (LHK) has rung alarm bells over huge lines of car importers formed at Armenia’s main border crossing with Georgia. The publication adds its voice to the lawmaker’s criticism of the perceived slow work of Armenian customs officers.It urges the customs service to deploy more staff at the Bagratashen checkpoint.