“Zhamanak” says that lawyers for former President Robert Kocharian have again demanded that prosecutors drop coup and corruption charges leveled against him during his continuing trial in Yerevan. The paper very critical of Kocharian accuses them of deliberately dragging out court proceedings. “Their expectation is that the Constitutional Court will deliver a verdict on the case as a result of which the former president will be set free or cleared of the criminal charges altogether,” it says. “This circumstance is thought to be at the heart of the ongoing process around the Constitutional Court which is conducted by the ruling [parliamentary] majority.” The government pressure on the Constitutional Court is aimed at preventing it from dealing with the Kocharian case, it says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” continues to blast the “propaganda war against the authorities” which it says is waged by the country’s former leaders and “groups financed by them.” The paper controlled by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s family laughs off their claims that the authorities are backtracking on their promises, engaging in corrupt practices and undermining family values.
“This is obviously not true and the former rulers realize this very well,” it says. “Therefore, the aim of their aggressive propaganda is not to regain power by political means. The aim is to weaken the authorities so that hundreds of thousands of people do not take to the streets in the event of a possible coup d’état. They know ways of organizing a coup d’état, and not only in theory.”
1in.am voices concern over Pashinian’s possible attempts to restore the presidential system of government in Armenia, in a commentary on his decision to set up a commission tasked with drafting constitutional amendments. The publication points out that a senior pro-government lawmaker, Vahagn Hovakimian, did not exclude on Tuesday the possibility of the country again becoming a presidential republic. “If they return to the old system of government the society could objectively see an attempt to legitimize Nikol Pashinian’s autocratic rule, especially given that the incumbent prime minister has a pronounced charisma but lacks a serious political team.”