In an interview with “Aravot,” the deputy speaker of the Armenian parliament, Tigran Torosian, does not deny that the chairman of the National Commission on Television and Radio, Grigor Amalian, may be guided by instructions from other, more powerful government officials. Torosian also warns that European criticism of the Amalian-led commission’s refusal to grant the A1+ channel a new frequency “can not be without consequences.” “We must therefore seriously discuss them and draw conclusions,” he says, adding that he hopes the Council of Europe will not impose sanctions on Armenia in the coming months.
“We do not support anyone. All TV stations are equal for us,” the Council of Europe representative to Armenia, Natalia Voutova, tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “We are only concerned with ensuring pluralism.” Voutova also chides the Armenian opposition for “not preparing to cooperate with the parliamentary majority and the authorities.” “This doesn’t mean we are urging them to agree with the majority’s opinion. We are only advising them to create some grounds for contacts.”
Opposition leader Stepan Demirchian, meanwhile, does not rule out the possibility of opposition cooperation wit pro-government forces on “some concrete issues,” “Ayb-Fe” reports. Demirchian says the fact that A1+ was again denied a frequency showed that “these authorities still do not feel safe.” He goes on to express his “indignation” at the authorities’ efforts to speed up the trial of the parliament gunmen who assassinated eight senior officials, including his father Karen Demirchian, in October 1999.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the vast majority of Armenian politicians affiliated with various political parties has nothing to do with real politics. “Militant and illiterate mediocrities have flooded every sphere of life,” the paper says, adding that Armenian politics is increasingly becoming “less serious.”
“Golos Armenii” says President Robert Kocharian has become a “hostage to clan interests.” “Today the real power in Armenia is a group of people with immense fortunes and unlimited abilities. And such stability is good only for those whose businesses are intertwined with politics and often directs that politics against state interests. Kocharian has depleted the amount of trust in him and may well resign the presidential post just like his predecessor,” writes the paper which strongly supported Kocharian during this year’s elections. “The country needs a president who is able to enforce his authority to rid the state of the oligarchic yoke, to uproot corruption and to make everyone equal before the law.”