“Hayots Ashkhar” sees in the reported postponement of a regional visit by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs a glimmer of hope for a further “freezing” of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict which the paper believes is the best scenario for the Armenian side. It says that would spare both countries the risk of internal destabilization which would arise from “artificial” peace proposals.
But as “Aravot” reports citing anonymous “reliable sources,” the American, French and Russian mediators will be “extremely consistent in persuading the parties” to accept a compromise settlement. The paper says that the deal would give both sides “at least 50 percent” of what they want and that the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic may again act as a separate party.
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” opposition lawmaker Victor Dallakian compares the existing political situation in Armenia with a “barrel of gunpowder that can explode at any moment.” He says such an explosion is inevitable despite the seeming political standstill.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” presents its tally of deputy ministerial posts to be divided among the three Armenian governing parties. It says the biggest of them, the Republican Party, will get 11 such posts, while Dashnaktsutyun and Orinats Yerkir will have to content themselves with 5 and 6 posts respectively. As a consolation prize, Dashnaktsutyun and Orinats Yerkir will each be given two positions of regional vice-governor. Dashnaktsutyun leader Armen Rustamian tells the paper that the three parties have already agreed on all candidacies and are currently awaiting a formal decision by Prime Minister Andranik Markarian. The paper claims that the decree is being delayed because Republican ministers do not want to cede much power to their new deputies.
“Hayots Ashkhar” complains that the coalition parties spend too much time on the bargaining, instead of concentrating their energy on the country’s socioeconomic woes.
“Aravot” reports that the leadership of the Armenian parliament controlled by the three parties has rejected a number of key amendments to Armenia’s controversial law on broadcasting that were drafted by the Council of Europe. Those have to do with the formation of bodies distributing broadcasting licenses and running the state-run Armenian Public Television and Radio. Their members are currently appointed and can be sacked by President Robert Kocharian. Council of Europe experts want to make both commissions more independent. But their view has been ignored by representatives of the parliament majority, according to “Aravot.”
“Ayb-Fe” quotes the owner of a private Armenian TV channel, ALM, as denying tycoon Gagik Tsarukian’s claims that he will soon buy a major stake in the company. “Nobody has bought anything from me,” Tigran Karapetian says. “I have nothing to sell.” The paper, meanwhile, says it was told by Tsarukian through his driver that he still intends to purchase a share in ALM.