“Iravunk” says the past week did produce signs of imminent renewed political tensions in Armenia, pointing to the scandal surrounding the parliament attack trial, problems with the Council of Europe and differences inside the governing coalition.
“The heroic era, with all of its positive and negative aspects, is over,” declares “Aravot.” “There will be no 1988 in the decades to come. A long period of standstill, also with its good and bad manifestations, has begun. People are concerned with their day-to-day needs, and whatever they say, they have one supreme goal: to ensure their and their families’ welfare…It’s just that today, unlike in the 1960s and 1970s, we are able develop rules of the game and agree not to eat each other by pursuing our personal interests. That is called market-based relationships or, to put it bluntly, capitalism.”
“Yerkir” sees serious government attempts to rein in the so-called business oligarchs who have grown too self-confident and unruly. “With its behavior and stance, the oligarchy in Armenia, like in Asian countries, never tries to place itself within the overall public concepts and values, constantly trying to flaunt its power and greatness,” the paper says. Government indifference to this process could not last forever because public solidarity and trust in the state is impossible requires at least a semblance of the rule of law. So the authorities “had to resort to drastic measures to rectify the situation.” The paper says without naming names that some of those oligarchic clans were threatening to become criminal groups. “People must be convinced that the state apparatus is not entangled with those circles or has severed ties with them,” concludes “Yerkir.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” discusses endemic corruption in the Armenian judiciary and law-enforcement structures. “What we have is a decayed mechanism operated by government officials and leaders of various caliber,” the paper says. “Those who, having gotten carried away with a sense of personal importance, recount before television cameras how the rate of solved crimes has increased thanks to their hard work and dedication.” The real picture is much more different, with many judges handing down verdicts in exchange for a bribe. “According to opinion polls, the overwhelming majority of citizens do not find it possible to seek justice in the court, safe in the belief that he who pays more will win the case. Isn’t this the verdict against our judiciary?”
“Aravot” reports that the Azerbaijani opposition, according to one of its leaders, is looking into Armenia’s most recent electoral experience as it is preparing for the October presidential election in Azerbaijan. “I think that that experience was very useful,” Hikmet Haji-zade of the Yeni Musavat party tells the paper in an interview. “But unfortunately, that was a sad experience. I was watching on TV how the Armenian people were protesting against falsifications when thousands of people took to the streets. But I also saw that it was fruitless and that the West acquiesced all of that.” Haji-zade says his party is fighting against government attempts to turn Azerbaijan into a “monarchy.” As for a lasting peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan, it will be possible only after the two countries become “real republics,” he says.