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Press Review


Citing Tuesday's statements by deputy speaker Vahan Hovannisian and the chairman of a key parliament committee, Rafik Petrosian, “Aravot” suggests that the National Assembly will consider revoking the mandates of its opposition minority this September. “That [opposition] boycott benefits neither our voters nor the state,” the paper believes. But it says that is not the reason why the authorities want the opposition lawmakers to return to the parliament. The boycott is calling into question their assurances about tolerance of dissent.

Gagik Melikian, a senior member of the parliament majority, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the leadership of the National Assembly should extend another offer of dialogue to the opposition. The authorities must not marginalize the opposition, he says. “The government has never been so unrealistic and narcissist as to deny the existence of social problems, corruption and other negative phenomena in the state system and our day-to-day life in general. And this is the area of cooperation where no one keeps the opposition from presenting proposals and programs,” Melikian says.

“Haykakan Zhamanak” comments that the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) continues to criticize the government of which it has formally been a part for just over a year. “That Dashnaktsutyun loses no opportunity to distance itself from the current government is evident, and in that endeavor it also inadvertently makes serious confessions,” the paper says. It points to a recent article in the party’s “Droshak” magazine which said that elections in Armenia will continue to be deeply flawed and “will not reflect the real will of the people” under the existing political order.

“Hayots Ashkhar” says the flurry of meetings between the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan testifies to a renewed drive by the international mediators, particularly the United States, to break the impasse in the Karabakh peace process. The paper says the U.S. is preparing a new peace proposal that would combine the package and step-by-step strategies of conflict resolution. “It is obvious that a solution to the most difficult issues will be delayed until the moment when the skeleton of an interim variant [of a peaceful settlement] is formed. One should expect the presentation of the new planned agreement only in the fall.”

“Azg” says noisy protests accompanying the participation of Armenian military officers at a NATO-sponsored conference in Baku offer further proof of “an atmosphere of Armenophobia elevated to the state level in Azerbaijan.” The paper finds suspicious the ease with which some protesters broke into the conference hall surrounded by police. “When opposition representatives hold a demonstration in Baku the law-enforcement bodies manage to break up and immediately arrest thousands of demonstrators right on the street,” it notes.

(Vache Sarkisian)
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