“There is no politics without populism,” writes the editor of “Aravot”, expounding on the topic: “In independent Armenia both the government and the opposition have always been engaged in populism and manipulations. For example, when one of our prime ministers said that he would put the chemical giant plants, Nairit and Vanadzor Chimprom, into operation, it was pure populism. When the previous government promised to build an Armenia-Iran railroad, it was also engaging in populism. It was also populism when the previous opposition criticized the authorities over traffic cameras and parking fees. Now the current opposition is engaging in populism by speculating on non-existing problems of same-sex marriages, transgender people and the Istanbul Convention, with punishment of ‘those who have robbed the country’ being the field of manipulations for the current government.”
“Zhamanak” reports that the government has specified its position on how to end the current standoff with the Constitutional Court. It claims the matter will be resolved by mid-2020. “As a result of constitutional reforms two options are possible: either the Constitutional Court will completely be dissolved or it will appear with new members. As for the current members of the Constitutional Court, they will go through a strict vetting procedure that will be difficult for them to overcome. In particular, their links to the former corrupt system and their previous work will be examined,” the daily writes.
Commenting on the recent visit to Armenia by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his statements made in Yerevan, “Haykakan Zhamanak” writes: “Critics of [Prime Minister] Nikol Pashinian tried to find something that would look favorable for them, quoting Lavrov as saying that the Nagorno-Karabakh talks continue within the framework of so-called Madrid principles, while Armenia’s authorities insist on a different thing. But our Ministry of Foreign Affairs was quick to specify that the Madrid principles are not on the table at this point. Why? Pashinian explained it months ago. Because first of all it is necessary to understand how the Azerbaijani side understands these principles and only after that will it become clear whether the negotiations will continue within the framework of the Madrid principles or not.” The pro-government paper claims that this position is “a reproach of sorts to the former government as [former President] Serzh Sarkisian is known to have once agreed to conducting negotiations within the framework of the Madrid principles, which also imply withdrawal from territories, without having received any official assurance that Azerbaijan is ready to accept any status of Nagorno-Karabakh, including full independence.”