Commenting on the three-party deal on the Armenian coalition government, “Aravot” says that Dashnaktsutyun will get “the most vulnerable, the most criticized ministries.” “It is not logical for Dashnaktsutyun to agree to take over the ministry of social security. It would probably be better if the most socially populist and promise-giving party assumed that responsibility,” the paper says, referring to Orinats Yerkir. Dashnaktsutyun also agreed to run the health ministry even though it is Orinats Yerkir that promised voters free health care. But all in all, the paper concludes, the new government line-up is an “ideal” one for Kocharian as he will be able to hold his loyalists in check.
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” Tigran Torosian, a leader of the Republican Party (HHK), laments what he sees as a lack of “traditions of political relationships” in Armenia. “Very often those relationships are not built on principles, become personalized and stem from certain factional interests. And that is the reason why the foundations of stability are not being laid,” Torosian says. Torosian exposes his disaffection with the HHK leadership when he says bluntly that a “disaster is taking place in the parliament” and describes as “flawed” the power-sharing talks between the three parties.
The owner of a major Armenian private television, Tigran Karapetian, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that the recent parliamentary elections demonstrated that “Russia is not interested in democratic developments in our country.” Karapetian, who has extensive business interests in Russia, blasts CIS observers who termed the elections democratic and praises Western observers for claiming the opposite. “In recent years, Russia has betrayed all of its allies: Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Now it is Iran’s turn and it is possible that the same will happen to us,” he says alarmingly. Karapetian says Armenia should therefore distance itself from Russia.
Interviewed by “Ayb-Fe,” a member of the governing board of the state-run Armenian Public Television and Radio, Stepan Poghosian, deplores the current state of electronic media in Armenia. “Television has become more of a miserable business than a phenomenon with moral functions and a moral mission,” Poghosian complains. “Our television is in a bad, spoiled condition. It is airing not values, but something distorted by self-interest. What those television companies did during the elections is their greatest disgrace.”