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Press Review


(Saturday, October 11)

“That A1+ will not be on air under Robert Kocharian is obvious to everyone,” “Aravot” editorializes ahead of Monday’s bidding for television frequencies. The paper says the only question is how the Kocharian-controlled commission on broadcasting will justify yet another refusal to reopen A1+. It also wonders how members of the ruling coalition, who condemned the commission this summer, will react to the move.

The A1+ boss, Mesrop Movsesian, likewise tells the “Ayb-Fe” daily owned by his TV company that he has no hopes that the commission will give it a new license. He accuses the commission chairman, Grigor Amalian, of “vandalizing Armenia’s television field.”

“Ayb-Fe” expresses its strong disappointment with the Armenian opposition which it says is unable and unwilling to make serious efforts at regime change in Yerevan. The paper believes that the opposition Artarutyun bloc will hold a rally on Friday just to ward off complaints about its inactivity. Opposition leaders, it says, do not want to attract a large crowd in order to avoid popular pressure for a renewed campaign against Kocharian’s regime.

“Hayots Ashkhar” comments that the latest bargaining over more government posts damaged the reputation of Armenia’s three-party coalition. A large part of the public, the paper says, will now think that the coalition parties are primarily concerned with maximizing their presence in government. “The coalition should have become an arena of collective thinking and collective decision-making paving the way for innovations, bold programs, proposals promising economic development for the country. But it turns out that everything inside it boils down to a clash of petty calculations, ambitions and aspirations.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” says one of those parties, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), has realized that by demanding too much from Prime Minister Andranik Markarian it risks causing his downfall and depriving itself of everything it has now. A new government, the paper says, would be headed by Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian who has never been quite friendly towards Dashnaktsutyun. Dashnak leaders are therefore interested in keeping Markarian in power. All of this only reinforces the premier’s positions. According to “Haykakan Zhamanak,” Dashnaktsutyun will be interested in Markarian’s ouster only if it feels that it is ready to get hold of that post. But that will not happen in the foreseeable future.

“Golos Armenii” sticks to its belief that only “clan structures” benefit from recent years’ economic grown in Armenia. “Our [government’s] priorities are only private vested interests,” the Russian-language paper says. “During all these years of false liberal values we have come to an unprecedented mass social and moral-psychological decline, also suffering enormous human losses. The quality of life in Armenia has drastically fallen as a result of these ‘reforms’.”

(Vache Sarkisian)
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