(Saturday, September 13)
“Golos Armenii” claims that the socioeconomic “cynicism” of the current Armenian authorities is more dangerous than that of their predecessors. While the latter fueled disappointment and outrage, the economic policies of President Robert Kocharian’s administration engenders a popular sense of “complete despair.” The paper says life has not become easier for the majority of Armenians.
“Aravot” continues to express skepticism at the setting up of ad hoc parliamentary commissions tasked with investigating important matters. The paper believes that nothing important will come of those initiatives as was the case in the past. No one in Armenia has suffered from scandalous revelations of lawmakers. “So maybe those who consider this a populist game and an attempt to dupe the people and the Council of Europe are right,” it writes.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” writes that the appointment of Dashnaktsutyun member Bagrat Yesayan as an anti-corruption adviser to President Robert Kocharian is part of the nationalist party’s broader effort to undermine the positions of Prime Minister Andranik Markarian’s Republican Party (HHK). The paper says the Dashnaks realize that many corrupt government officials are affiliated with the HHK. “Dashnaktsutyun wants to break up the system which has not allowed it to fully satisfy its government ambitions for the past several years,” it says. “But the realization of that idea is not that easy because the purpose of the Dashnaktsutyun game is obvious to the Republicans as well and they are able to scuttle it with their [government] levers.”
As for Kocharian, “Haykakan Zhamanak” says he has “some worries connected with the Republican Party.” “From Kocharian’s viewpoint, that appointment can not be explained otherwise because a fight against corruption now means a fight against the Republicans.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that state prosecutors have opened a criminal case against one of the two trial attorneys of businessman Armen Sarkisian, who is accused of orchestrating the murder of state television chief Tigran Naghdalian. The attorney, Hovik Arsenian, is accused of hushing up his earlier criminal conviction when obtaining a lawyer’s license in 1999. The chairman of a lawyers’ association with which Arsenian is affiliated, Tigran Ter-Yesayan, denounces the criminal proceedings, saying that the prosecutors are not motivated by the need to protect the law.
But for “Hayots Ashkhar,” more important is the fact that Arsenian, a former police officer, was convicted of bribery and sentenced to several years in prison in 1997.