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Press Review


Asked by “Aravot” why the Armenian authorities and the opposition again marked the parliament attack anniversary separately, former Prime Minister Aram Sarkisian says, “Maybe we have slung so much mud at each other during the political process that even seeing each other in such places has become somewhat unpleasant.”

Both “Aravot” and “Haykakan Zhamanak” emphasize the fact that President Robert Kocharian did not visit the graves of Vazgen Sarkisian and Karen Demirchian. The latter paper says Kocharian’s wreaths to the assassinated leaders’ graves were delivered by two men that did not look like important officials. One of them drives a van catering for the presidential staff.

A “Haykakan Zhamanak” correspondent tried to interview one of Vazgen Sarkisian’s comrades-in-arms, General Manvel Grigorian, during Monday’s remembrance ceremonies, but he was, as usual, reluctant to talk. “Eh, what can I say?” the once feared general sighed when asked whether he knows who had masterminded the parliament killings.

“Ayb-Fe” says that most relatives of the attack victims have lost faith in the Armenian investigators and judiciary. “Any regime that will come to replace Robert will wish to solve that,” Aram Sarkisian says. “The trial has shed no light on any issue,” notes Anahit Bakhshian, the widow of former parliament vice-speaker Yuri Bakhshian.

“Azg” likewise notes that all circumstances of the parliament drama have still to be cleared up, even though the perpetrators of the crime are going to face strict punishment.

Khachatur Sukiasian, a prominent Armenian businessman, deplores the scandalous arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russia’s richest man who runs the Yukos oil giant, in what is seen as part of the Kremlin’s crackdown on President Vladimir Putin’s potential rivals. “I have a very negative attitude to what happened,” Sukiasian tells “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “Before making any step, the law-enforcement authorities of a particular country must seriously think about its consequences.” He believes that the case against Khodorkovsky may scare off potential foreign investors not only from doing business in Russia but also in other ex-Soviet republics, including Armenia.

“A capitalism in which a businessman must ensure his immunity by serving the president can not be deemed capitalism in the true sense of the word,” editorializes “Aravot.”

“Golos Armenii” presents the electoral race in Yerevan’s Ajapnyak district as a clash of two local “clans.” The paper complains that the country’s central government and political parties are so indifferent to that feud as if “Ajapnyak is a state inside a state, a spontaneously formed community where any issue can be solved only with gunshots or knives.” “One is left to conclude that the Ajapnyak tensions are but an episode in the settling of clan scores that exist in the entire country in one way or another,” “Golos Armenii” says.

(Hrach Melkumian)
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