“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that a well-known Armenian lawyer, Ruben Rshtuni, described as “critical” the current state of Armenian judiciary at a meeting of the presidential commission on human rights on Thursday. Rshtuni says the situation there is only deteriorating.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” alleges the Armenian police operate with “laws mimicked from the criminal underworld,” disregarding the due process of law and having their own, peculiar notion of justice. “The result of that is a growing number of crimes,” the paper says. “In Armenia, law and order is currently enforced not by law-enforcement agencies, but criminal elements that seem to have managed to impose their rules of the game on the law-enforcement authorities as well.” In June alone, four high-profile murders were committed in broad daylight in Yerevan. “But that doesn’t prevent Robert Kocharian and supporters from saying proudly that our country is stabilizing day by day.”
“Aravot” reasons that “mobsters’ coming to power was inevitable” because the authorities have always relied on criminal elements during elections. “Those holding government posts, from the president to the parties with parliament mandates, owe everything to them,” the paper says. “The government is now powerless against them. They can now engage in racketeering, fix prices, slaughter each other. And no minister, no law-enforcement officer, no coalition can rein in them. That mob is the real leadership of modern-day Armenia.”
“It is now crystal clear that the presidential and parliamentary elections were severe calamities for our people,” editorializes “Orran.” “It is now crystal clear that the opposition has rendered a great service to the authorities. That opposition has for months successfully stifled popular resistance and struggle.”
“Azg” says the opposition plays “no serious role” in the country’s political life. “The authorities have succeeded in imposing a kind of blockade on the opposition,” the paper says. “The Artarutyun bloc’s assurances that they will work actively in the parliament from this September…are merely political maneuvers.” The current parliament is too pro-presidential to disturb Kocharian. “Azg” does not believe in the sincerity of government offers of a dialogue with the opposition.
“Iravunk” says Council of Europe calls for the punishment of individuals guilty of electoral crimes are certain to fall on deaf ears in Yerevan. The paper says tens of thousands of people became involved in vote rigging after receiving appropriate guarantees from the authorities. So any attempt to prosecute some of them is “fraught with extreme inner-government tensions and crises.” It would simply destroy “the machine which effectively ensures the self-reproduction of the government order existing in Armenia.”