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Press Review


"Aravot" continues to dismiss Robert Kocharian's argument that last week's wrangling in the parliament proved that the parliamentary system of government would not be good for Armenia. The paper agrees that the introduction of a parliamentary system is "a bit pre-mature" but not because "we are a nation of bright personalities or are too rowdy." "We simply lack an adequate political landscape. Generally speaking, Armenia is now in a situation where any government, be it parliamentary or presidential, is a tool for abuses," it writes.

"Haykakan Zhamanak" claims that the authorities can not win next year's elections without vote falsification. Control of electoral commissions will be vital for achieving that goal. The paper says the authorities are already taking corresponding measures.

"Iravunk" says worsening relations among pro-government forces, the circulation of a controversial media bill and the handling of the café murder are proving highly damaging for the government's reputation. "What happened demonstrated that a cynical and impudent illegality is as widespread in Armenia [now] as under the HHSh regime and that the authorities do not want to abandon the 'we-are-invincible' slogan," it says.

"Golos Armenii" accuses the authorities of using double standards in the cafe murder inquiry. "The punishment set by the court is not commensurate with the loss of human life. Let us recall that our prosecutors and judges put people behind bars for the theft of several chickens or petty hooliganism."

"Haykakan Zhamanak" editor Nikol Pashinian may again face just such a prospect. The prosecutor-general's office has launched criminal proceedings against Pashinian after the controversial head of the Armenian civil aviation authority, Hovannes Yeritsian, alleged that he was insulted by the pro-opposition daily. The paper, which had to change its name after being effectively shut down in 1999, says the authorities are taking another opportunity to silence "Haykakan Zhamanak." It says it will continue to "hold irresponsible officials responsible" for their deeds.

"Aravot" says the law-enforcement agencies had better investigate rampant corruption and mismanagement in the civil aviation administration instead of turning their attention to independent media. As for Yeritsian, he should use his energy for other, more creative purposes.

(Vache Sarkisian)
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