The arrest of a senior member of the Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh) in the northern city of Vanadzor on charges of illegal arms possession leads the pro-government “Hayots Ashkhar” to accuse the former ruling party of plotting a coup. The paper alleges that the HHSh has in the past formed numerous death squads to terrorize its opponents. The large stockpile of weapons and ammunition which police claim to have found in the office of the HHSh’s Vanadzor leader, Ashot Manukian, suggests that the opposition party planned to launch “large-scale terrorist acts.” “The situation in the country is increasingly getting tense. There all the grounds to contend that the HHSh and its numerous satellites have accumulated a large quantity of weapons” in the hope of using them for their “return to power.”
Another party highly critical of the HHSh and the legacy of its eight-year rule, “Yerkir,” attacks the party over the participation of its chairman Aleksandr Arzumanian in the Turkish-Armenian reconciliation commission. It says Arzumanian became a member of the commission as part of his party’s preparations for the next presidential and parliamentary elections. Economic benefits of the possible normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations will be the main theme of the HHSh campaign. Voters will be told to “forget the genocide” in return for a better life, the paper claims.
Another Armenian member of the commission, Van Krikorian of the Armenian Assembly of America, tells “Azg” that the genocide issue will be on its agenda. “They [the Turks] admit that their biggest problem is that three successive generations have been brainwashed about it and told that there was no genocide. Psychologically, we can not change their mentality.” Krikorian believes that Armenians should send scholars and psychoanalysts to Turkey to “explain and teach them our cause.” “Turkey will for the first time recognize the genocide, after which the recognition by other states will be much easier,” Krikorian says, adding that all Armenian members of the commission are “good team players.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” presents a list of individuals who it says have gained a lot of influence in the government through “behind-the-scene lobbying.” Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian leads in the rankings, followed by the chief of the presidential staff, Artashes Tumanian, Constitutional Court Chairman Gagik Harutiunian and Justice Minister David Harutiunian. The paper says that of all politicians active in “shadow governance” leaders of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) are the most influential.