(Saturday, November 22)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the speaker of the Nagorno-Karabakh parliament, Oleg Yesayan, issued a “threatening” warning to the Armenian opposition on Friday in response to opposition claims that the “Karabakh clan” led by President Robert Kocharian is tightening its grip on power in Yerevan. The allegations followed the appointment of Kim Balayan, a Karabakh-born member of the governing Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) party, to Armenia’s Constitutional Court.
One of the oppositionists subscribing to that view is Artashes Geghamian. He tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that members of the “Karabakh clan” do not represent the majority of Karabakh Armenians and are trying to protect their political and economic power with references to “national unity.”
“Ayb-Fe” comments that Kocharian’s strategy of resolving the Karabakh conflict with a “package” agreement on all contentious issues has failed to produce any results. The paper says the past five years have demonstrated that a package settlement requires more time and trouble than a step-by-step deal that was favored by former President Levon Ter-Petrosian and his allies. “In essence, that package variant is also a step-by-step variant made up of long and uncertain phases,” it says. “This course would have been justified if time had really worked in our favor.”
According to “Aravot,” Education Minister Sergo Yeritsian has effectively admitted that his Orinats Yerkir Party’s pre-election opposition to personnel lay-offs in secondary schools was populist rhetoric. “Of course, a politician can express his attitudes,” he is quoted as saying. “But it’s a different thing when the situation changes and he is the one who shoulders responsibility [for government].”
Opposition leader Vazgen Manukian sees a “very dangerous source of internal terrorism in Armenia.” In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” he complains about a decline in moral and ethical values in the country, saying that too many Armenians are ready to “build their welfare on others’ bones.” “The people’s will doesn’t matter at all to the authorities,” he says. “In these conditions, terrorism becomes one of the instruments for achieving goals.”
Parliament vice-speaker Vahan Hovannisian, however, believes that acts of terror involving “mass killings” are not possible in Armenia because there are no factors contributing to them. “But one should not forget the fact that political killings have left their mark on the consciousness of our political elite,” he tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “This danger must always be kept in mind because in our country political developments are constantly occurring in the shadow of political trials.” Hovannisian also warns that Armenia may face terror challenges from abroad.