Lragir.am says Constitutional Court Chairman Hrayr Tovmasian was right to say on Thursday that his standoff with the Armenian government is good for the court’s independence. “The Constitutional Court is really independent from and not subordinate to the authorities,” it writes. “This is the high court’s first such achievement in its history.” It is also true, the publication goes on, that the court is now independent because it was formed by the former authorities and, according to many supporters of the current government, remains dependent on them. “In this sense, the Constitutional Court needs to earn and prove its independence from the former regime as well,” it says.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” condemns as “very unfair and absurd” law-enforcement authorities’ decision to arrest a former deputy chief of the Armenian parliament staff, Arsen Babayan, as part of their investigation into Tovmasian. “Is he the one who prevents the authorities from resolving the crisis over the Constitutional Court?” asks the paper. “Probably not … Arsen Babayan is neither an oligarch nor former senior official. Nor has he earned millions [of dollars,] killed anymore or used troops against people.” It says that the alleged crime attributed Babayan is far less serious than what other former senior officials, who remain free, are accused of. “The path chosen by the authorities for solving the Constitutional Court issue does not look good,” concludes the paper.
“Aravot” says that Armenian government ministers must do a better job of “benefiting the state” after having their monthly wages controversially doubled by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian. The paper admits at the same time that it is not easy to objectively measure the effectiveness of their work. “There is also another problem,” it says. “If a minister gets 1.5 million drams [per month] while the head of a ministry division only 200,000 drams the latter will not necessarily be happy and that will reflect on their work.”