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Press Review


“Aravot” is very disappointed with the low turnout in Monday’s street march organized by center-right opposition parties. The paper says that not only the apathetic people are to blame for the failure of the action, timed to coincide with the International Human Rights Day, but also those the numerous non-governmental organizations that claim to fight for civil rights.

“Haykakan Zhamanak” says each of the parties that held the unsanctioned rally claims to have thousands of members, and yet each of them was represented by just a few activists on Monday. “We wouldn’t like to think that this, too, was the result of the atmosphere of fear existing in the republic,” the paper says.

“Hayots Ashkhar” notes with glee that the opposition demonstration was “unnoticed, insignificant and not at all topical for the society.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports on growing grumbling in the ranks of the HZhK, National Unity and Hanrapetutyun parties that formed an anti-presidential coalition in September. Their rank-and-file members are now unhappy with their leaders’ “silence” and pessimism regarding the success of the anti-Kocharian push. The paper says it is already clear that their attempt to force fresh election has failed. This raises the question of whether the three parties have anything else in common to continue to cooperate with each other. For one thing, they are unlikely to put forward a common candidate in the next presidential election.

“Iravunk” anticipates “interesting developments” at the beginning of next year. Robert Kocharian, it says, “has to form a more or less visible political team, something which he has not managed to do so far.” A handful of parties that have already expressed their unconditional support for Kocharian are either “thoroughly discredited” or too small. As for the two biggest parties that are considered to be pro-presidential, Dashnaktsutyun and the Republicans, they are not rushing to endorse Kocharian’s reelection bid for the time being. Besides, there is “serious rivalry” between them.

“Azg” is outraged by Minister for State Revenues Yervand Zakharian’s statement that there no business spheres in Armenia that are not being taxed. The paper describes this claim as “disinformation,” reminding readers of “powerful clans” that impose their will on the state.

“Hayots Ashkhar” continues to attack activities of the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission. It is obvious to the paper that the US-backed undertaking has already failed. Its Armenian members realize this but are reluctant to admit their mistakes. They are now looking for a face-saving exit from the commission. The international study on the applicability of the UN Genocide convention to the 1915 massacres may provide them with such an opportunity. “Hayots Ashkhar” claims that the results of the study can not satisfy both Turkish and Armenian parties.

(Vache Sarkisian)
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