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Press Review


“Aravot” attacks President Kocharian over his assertion that the more people attend opposition demonstrations the more “impudent” will Azerbaijani threats to resume the Karabakh war become. The paper claims that Kocharian is simply exploiting the Karabakh issue for domestic political aims. Opposition leaders see an overt “blackmail” on the part of Kocharian. One of them, Albert Bazeyan, goes as far as to accuse Kocharian of “dragging out” the settlement of the Karabakh conflict in order to cling to power.

“Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that two local branches of the Yerkrapah Union in southern Armenia have denounced the organization’s chairman, General Manvel Grigorian, for his refusal to challenge the arrest and prosecution of Mushegh Saghatelian, a prominent Yerkrapah member and former interior ministry official. The paper says the unprecedented revolt against Grigorian is set to spread to other Yerkrapah branches in the coming weeks.

“Iravunk” writes ahead of Friday’s rally that Armenia may be entering a new period of heightened political tension. A success of the street protest may prompt a government crackdown on the opposition which would have unpredictable consequences. Kocharian has already made a mistake by allowing the opposition to lure him into a “premature election campaign.” In these circumstances, major cabinet changes, including Prime Minister Markarian’s replacement, are a real possibility. As part of his reelection efforts, Kocharian will make sure that the state apparatus is utterly loyal to him.

“Azg” complains that none of the country’s biggest political groups talks about security threats facing Armenia. The paper is concerned about the suspension of US sanctions against Azerbaijan, saying that it will simply encourage Baku to make more bellicose statements on Karabakh.

“Aravot,” on the other hand, sees no cause for alarm. According to the paper, Section 907 was vital for Armenia only during the Karabakh war. It says it “can not understand” the angry reaction of many Armenian-Americans to Wednesday’s Senate decision.

(Vache Sarkisian)
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