The shock murder of an Armenian military officer by an Azerbaijani colleague in Hungary is the top story in Friday’s Armenian newspapers that largely share the government view that it was the result of anti-Armenian sentiment whipped up for years by Baku.
“Our government must not come to terms with the already visible ‘political correctness’ with which NATO and other authoritative international organizations will try to portray what happened as an ordinary murder,” writes “Aravot.” “This is a political murder provoked by that country’s government which has been pursuing a policy of hatred towards Armenians and filling Azerbaijani hearts with hostility. This is the result of the same political correctness that didn’t allow NATO to condemn the behavior of Azerbaijani officials who banned Armenian officers from participating in its own seminar held in Baku. Armenia must to everything for the murder of Gurgen Markarian to be declared political and condemned as such by the international community.”
In a commentary on domestic political developments, “Iravunk” says President Robert Kocharian and Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian are showing signs of fear of possible opposition-led inroads on their power. “One gets the impression that the country’s president and defense minister worry about a danger of which there seem to be no objective signs yet, judging by the actions of the opposition or any major foreign power. Perhaps the authorities have some operative information which is not yet known to the public as a whole and most members of the opposition camp.” The paper suggests that Kocharian’s main concern at the moment is renewed friction among his main political allies.
Echoing the Dashnaktsutyun party’s current discourse, “Yerkir” says that no one, particularly the authorities, should undermine the people’s “belief in justice.” The weekly paper says Armenia’s’ “self-restraint” in the face of their huge material sacrifices of the past decade must not be taken for granted by their rulers. It urges the latter to reciprocate this civic attitude with real efforts to make things better.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that the political fallout from Dashnaktsutyun leader Hrant Markarian’s controversial speech has not lived up to opposition expectations of a serious government crisis in the country.
Parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian, whose Orinats Yerkir Party was also attacked by Markarian, tells “Iravunk” that it is unfair to accuse it of vote manipulation because “unlike Dashnaktsutyun, Orinats Yerkir had no government levers” to inflate its electoral performance. Baghdasarian suggests that Markarian simply wanted to leave a strong impression on Dashnaktsutyun members from the Diaspora who gathered in Yerevan for the party congress.
“Aravot” reports that despite Kocharian’s public promise not to impede any legal action taken by the opposition, authorities in the town of Byureghavan tried to disrupt a rally organized there by the Artarutyun alliance on Thursday.