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Press Review


Parliament speaker Armen Khachatrian claims, in a "Hayastani Hanrapetutyun" interview, to have overcome the parliamentary crisis without Robert Kocharian's interference. He says the parliament has managed to pass several laws despite opposition efforts to disrupt the proceedings.

But as "Orran" writes, Khachatrian and the parliament majority should not think that they beat the opposition. If that was a victory, it was a pyrrhic one, the paper says. The opposition has created a precedent of an open discussion of Kocharian's impeachment.

"Golos Armenii" notes disapprovingly that the Miasnutyun faction did not even try to reach a compromise deal with the opposition. "And when none of the [conflicting] parties seeks a mutually acceptable agreement, the country's main tribune becomes a hostage to domestic political squabbles. A farce in such a situation can turn into a tragedy at any moment," the paper writes.

"Hayots Ashkhar" admits that the latest dramatic events could damage Kocharian's standing. The paper again calls for a "clarification" and consolidation of political forces supporting the president. The existing pro-presidential majority in the parliament is "impotent" and not reliable. "The small opposition has been able to achieve its political objectives," the paper writes.

Alvard Petrosian, a parliament deputy from the Dashnaktsutyun party, tells "Hayots Ashkhar" that Kocharian is too tolerant toward his opponents. "The head of state should understand that insults directed at him contaminate the entire state and must be be able to bring those people to account one by one," she says.

"Or," on the other hand, believes that Kocharian is responsible for the continuing existence of "an atmosphere of impunity" in Armenia.

"Aravot" editorializes that Armenian parliaments have ceased to express popular will since 1995. What is more, their intellectual level has fallen below the national average. "But the most important thing is that we don't believe the deputies," the paper says. Their main preoccupation is how to fill their pockets even more. "So it's not about Kocharian and his impeachment. It's about not losing what they have and acquiring what they don't have. Hence, the ugly style of their clash."

In a commentary titled "The National Assembly's dissolution is necessary but impossible," "Haykakan Zhamanak" writes that no political party can have a clear majority in the next parliament. "The absence of such a force makes the outcome of fresh parliamentary elections very unpredictable. Therefore, Kocharian can not opt for such a solution," the paper writes. It would be very risky for him to call for elections before restoring unity among his allies. That means he will have to first persuade the
Republican, Dashnaktsutyun and Orinats Yerkir parties to form an electoral alliance.

(Vache Sarkisian)
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