“Hayots Ashkhar” writes that actions of the authorities and their political allies are not adequate to the existing political situation in Armenia, which “endangers the country’s future.” “There is no united political team, there is a lack of programs and mechanisms for attaining goals set by them.” Periodical changes in the government do not follow any logic, and the authorities leave the people with no grounds for optimism.
“Iravunk” sees only “personal interests” behind the ministerial appointments and sackings. Expectations of a cabinet reshuffle reflect negatively on the performance of the state apparatus. They could weaken the authorities that are now up against a consolidating opposition.
Ruben Hovsepian, a writer and parliament deputy from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun, tells “Aravot” that Armenian should ignore Council of Europe warnings against the execution of Nairi Hunanian and the four other parliament gunmen. According to Hovsepian, Yerevan should tell Strasbourg officials that application of some democratic norms would in fact damage the process of democratization in Armenia. “We don’t live in a country and society where threat of the death penalty is useless,” he says.
Interviews of deputies conducted by “Hayots Ashkhar” reveal a unanimous support for the execution of the parliament assailants.
“Iravunk” agrees that abolition of capital punishment and compliance with other “European standards” may be good for prosperous countries of the West but it is “premature” for a country like Armenia. Robert Kocharian took an “incautious” step when he promised the visiting Council of Europe delegation this week that no person will be executed in Armenia under his rule. The president thus gave more “trump cards” to political foes exploiting his handling of the probe of the parliament shootings.
A senior member of the People’s Party of Armenia (HZhK) claims in “Yerkir” that government policies are “driving the HZhK into opposition.” Grigor Harutiunian also denies reports that his party is making overtures to the former ruling HHSh party as part of its struggle against the ruling regime. “This is a dirty tactics of smear,” he says. “Why do you think that the HZhK is so naïve that it can cooperate with a political force which is not accepted by the people?”
Close ties with the HHSh are also denied by former prime minister Aram Sarkisian who leads the opposition Hanrapetutyun party. But speaking to “Iravunk,” Sarkisian makes it clear that he is against labelling any political organization a public enemy. He says his political creed calls for an “atmosphere of general tolerance” and he will strive to “reach a common denominator” with all groups concerned about the country’s future. On the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the ex-premier says the following: “The liberated territories have a price. Therefore any concessions [to Azerbaijan] must come at a price. The so-called mutual compromise is a matter of serious bargaining.”