“Zhamanak” comments on concerns voiced by Gianni Buquicchio, the president of the Venice Commission, about the Armenian government’s standoff with the Constitutional Court. The paper says that Buquicchio used diplomatic language to say that the Armenian parliament has a bigger role to play in reforming the country than the court’s chairman, Hrayr Tovmasian, and his supporters. “It is evident that Armenia’s new leadership does not need an ‘open conflict’ with the Council of Europe,” it says. “Having disagreements with the Venice Commission would effectively mean a conflict with the Council of Europe.” The question is, the paper goes on, whether Tovmasian’s resignation is so vital for the government that it is ready to risk being censured by the Council of Europe.
Alvina Gyulumian, a member of the Constitutional Court, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that government allegations that the court is hampering political reforms in Armenia are “attempts to manipulate the public.” Gyulumian says she and her colleagues will resign only if the authorities abolish the Constitutional Court through constitutional changes approved by Armenians in a referendum. “After all, we work for the public,” she says. “But nobody will resign from this court if that is demanded by ten or a hundred persons who feel offended for some reason and think this court has not protected their interests.”
“Hraparak” reports on unfolding parliamentary discussions of the Armenia’s state budget for next year drafted by the government. The paper quotes Finance Minister Atom Janjughazian as saying that the spending bill is significantly better than previous Armenian budgets. “But this does not mean that we will be starting to build a country from scratch,” Janjughazian says. Both the current and former governments have strived for macroeconomic stability in the country, he says.