“Azg” believes that the recent wave of killings in Armenia is indirectly connected with this year’s elections accompanied by numerous violations. “Various-level government officials, official and unofficial neighborhood guys were so heavily involved in vote-rigging programs and illegal tasks issued by various bodies and rival officials…that the human scum, criminal instincts rose to the surface and are now holding sway over our squares and streets.” The paper says that large sums of money spent during the elections ended up in the pockets of “criminal elements” who are now trying to “redistribute and snatch it from each other.”
“Nobody can claim that yesterday’s assassination attempt in the Erebuni district is directly linked to the last elections,” “Azg” continues. “But the atmosphere and the financial and interpersonal relations created in those elections are definitely linked to that incident.”
“Aravot” says none of the several theories of the car bomb attack on Mher Sedrakian has been substantiated with hard evidence. “One can only conclude that law-enforcement officials’ claims that the situation with criminality is quiet are, to put it mildly, exaggerated.”
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” comes up with a strong condemnation of Tuesday’s explosion and the previous weeks’ killings. The paper calls on the authorities to take “the strictest possible steps” to put an end to what it terms a “criminal cynicism.”
The deputy speaker of the parliament, Tigran Torosian, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” says this week’s visit to Yerevan by senior officials from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was “positive.” Torosian is hopeful that agreements reached with them will soften criticism to be contained in the OSCE’s upcoming final report on the Armenian parliamentary elections. He says the Armenian authorities have already taken steps to reverse some of the vote irregularities by rerunning elections in several constituencies and opening 26 criminal cases.
Torosian also says it is possible that the OSCE observers will mention the continuing ban on the A1+ television in their final election report, reiterating his criticism of a presidentially appointed commission’s refusal to grant A1+ a new broadcasting license. “Sadly, it is now difficult to find arguments in favor of the outcome of the tender,” he says.
“The Armenian authorities are fulfilling their commitments or promises to the Council of Europe to the extent that those do not threaten their authority,” human rights campaigner Avetik Ishkhanian tells “Ayb-Fe.” Ishkhanian believes that the authorities would rather agree to lose Armenia’s membership of the Council of Europe than hold clean votes which could force them out of office. This is why, he says, they are not interested in having strong and independent media in Armenia.