“Zhamanak” reports that Armenia’s Constitutional Court will begin on August 29 formal hearings on the legality of coup charges brought against former President Robert Kocharian. The paper says the hearings will have important ramifications for political developments in the country. “If the Constitutional Court makes a decision favoring the second president [Kocharian] it will mark a new turnaround not only in the March 2008 case but also the overall political situation,” it says. It says that the Armenian government’s possible decision to allow the relaunch of the Amulsar gold mining project would only add to the “heated political autumn” in Armenia. The paper speculates at the same time that the government could use Constitutional Court actions to deflect the public’s attention from the Amulsar issue.
Lragir.am says that identifying and punishing those responsible for the March 2008 bloodshed in Yerevan is essential for the creation of a new and independent judicial system in Armenia. “A decision on the Kocharian case will also help to solve the Constitutional Court issue on which the course of the trial [of Kocharian] depends,” writes the publication. It says that the court has managed to overcome a “crisis” sparked by statements made by its newest member, Vahe Grigorian, in June. “The government is looking for other means of reforming the Constitutional Court,” it goes on. “Court judges are being offered to resign by October 31 and [in return] retain their salaries and pensions. The government seems to have abandoned the idea of vetting [judges,] preferring long-term and radical measures instead.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the Amulsar issue is degenerating into a “deepening confrontation between state structures and various civic initiatives.” “And in this confrontation there will be no absolute winners and undisputed losers because in both cases the state would suffer as a result,” writes the pro-government daily. “The authorities have to be guided by state interests, while necessarily taking into account the interests of the society and each citizen, environmental issues, democratic freedoms and the like. For its part, the society must realize that there are also state interests at play and that from time to time the authorities have to opt for painful solutions for the sake of those interests. This applies to virtually all spheres.”