“Aravot” reports that the board of the Yerkrapah Union has not yet reacted to the statement by one of its influential members, Vahan Shirkhanian, accusing the authorities of discrediting the late Vazgen Sarkisian. Shirkhanian said he will quit the board if Yerkrapah fails to take adequate steps. The statement was discussed by Yerkrapah leaders on Tuesday, according to the paper. It was apparently the main reason for Yerkrapah chairman Manvel Grigorian’s lengthy meeting with Robert Kocharian the same day.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says Yerkrapah is unlikely to come up with any written statements criticizing the authorities. First of all, because many of the board’s 45 members are high-ranking officers serving in the army. Even those who are not in the military are reluctant to challenge Kocharian.
Any opposition would dream about having a rival like the Armenian government, writes “Hayots Ashkhar,” again ringing alarm bells over the perceived strengthening of opposition forces in Armenia. Instead of “deepening the positive trends” the authorities are getting increasingly complacent, “losing ground step by step.”
According to “Aravot,” opposition leader Artashes Geghamian told supporters in Gyumri this week that Prime Minister Markarian intended to sack and prosecute his minister for state revenues, Andranik Manukian, on corruption charges. But he didn’t do that after Manukian threatened to publicize “discrediting material” about the premier, Geghamian claimed.
“Zhamanak” speculates that Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliev is raising the issue of the Karabakh town of Shusha as a pretext to kill the agreements reached in Paris and Key West. The meditators are letting him do that in a bid to test limits of Armenian concessions on Karabakh, the paper says. The West does not seem to realize what an uproar this could cause in Armenia and Karabakh. The opposition will rush to exploit the issue just as it did when talk spread about a proposed Armenian-Azerbaijani exchange of territories.
“Azg” reports that the current residents of Shusha remained largely indifferent to the visit of the Minsk Group co-chairs on Wednesday. “The mediators too have forgotten about populating Shusha with Azeris.” But as chief Russian negotiator Vyacheslav Trubnikov told the paper, the return of all refugees would still be one of the main provisions of the future peace deal.
“Hayots Ashkhar” joins the chorus of disapproval directed at former Armenian government officials that decided this week to form a “reconciliation commission” with their Turkish counterparts. They thereby risk putting international recognition of the Armenian genocide into oblivion, which the paper thinks is part of a “common Turkish-American approach” to the problem.