“Aravot” reports that the chairman of the committee on foreign affairs, Hovannes Hovannisian, was the only Armenian parliamentarian who agreed with a visiting delegation from the Council of Europe in that Nairi Hunanian and the four other gunmen must not be executed. But the leader of the parliamentary majority, Galust Sahakian, spoke for many lawmakers when he said that the Armenian people “are not prepared” for the abolition of the death penalty and it will take “decades” to do away with the practice.
“Zhamanak” stresses Council of Europe officials’ revelation that Robert Kocharian too is opposed to the gunmen’s execution contrary to the dominant public opinion in Armenia. This, the paper believes, is another good news for Hunanian, who has already received a strong boost from the release of six other parliament attack suspects last month.
Commenting on the Karabakh negotiating process, “Zhamanak” dismisses the argument that a peace settlement is not on the cards because of the continuing rivalry between Russia and the West. The paper contends that both of them see serious benefits from the resolution of the Karabakh conflict. “Billions of dollars can play a much greater role than military presence,” it says with regard to Russia’s intentions. Moscow will inevitable get a stake in the massive reconstruction work in the region that will get underway after the signing of a peace accord.
“Hayots Ashkhar” and “Haykakan Zhamanak” quote Orinats Yerkir leader Artur Baghdasarian as denying reports that his party will get a ministerial portfolio as part of the impending cabinet reshuffle. “Today Orinats Yerkir does not intend to participate in the formation of any new majority in the National Assembly,” Baghdasarian says. The centrist party will not join the government because it believes that the current parliament should be dissolved and new elections called as soon as possible, he says.
“Azg” alleges that the opposition Hanrapetutyun party is being manipulated by the Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh) and other representatives of the country’s leadership who are keen to see Kocharian’s resignation.
“Haykakan Zhamanak,” meanwhile, quotes an unnamed senior member of the People’s Party of Armenia (HZhK) as saying that HZhK leader Stepan Demirchian is now not averse to cooperating with the HHSh and its allies in its fight against the current authorities. Demirchian has told HZhK activists to spread the word among the party’s supporters.