“Haykakan Zhamanak” issues another strong denial of speculation that the purpose of its ongoing reader poll on the Armenian presidency is “the political rehabilitation” of former President Levon Ter-Petrosian. “But if Levon Ter-Petrosian gets the largest number of votes we are obliged to report and take that into consideration the way the would be obliged to accept a situation in which Ter-Petrosian would get no votes,” the paper writes. It says the purpose of the opinion poll is to promote a culture of free and fair elections in Armenia. “We are convinced that all those who disdain these values deal a blow to the backbone of our state and the future of our children.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” accuses opposition leader Artashes Geghamian of displaying “inhuman hypocrisy” in a speech before supporters in Yerevan on Wednesday. The paper says Geghamian’s comments called into question the Armenian opposition’s ability “to present its own positions within the bounds of elementary political logic.”
“In a telephone interview from Strasbourg, Geghamian found the Karabakh section of Robert Kocharian’s speech [in the Council of Europe] absolutely satisfactory,” writes “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun.” “That proved hasty because after flying back to Yerevan he was to find out that he is not that happy with the speech. Yesterday he fancied the ‘posture of a field commander’ in the president’s speech and condemned it strongly.”
According to “Haykakan Zhamanak,” there was little new in Geghamian’s comments on Wednesday. “Perhaps the only difference is that for the second time Geghamian acted as an advocate of not ‘our centuries-old friend’ Russia, but the United States,” the paper comments.
“Azg” reports that a Yerevan court ruled on Wednesday that Geghamian’s allegations that Aram Karapetian, another prominent opposition leader, has been secretly collaborating with the authorities are not truthful. But the court also rejected Karapetian’s demands that Geghamian publicly apologize for his attacks. “The parties, regardless of the court decision, continue to stick to their guns,” the paper says. “The most vulnerable thing about the court ruling is its being illogical. If the information spread about Aram Karapetian really does not correspond to reality, then Geghamian or [his deputy] Aleksan Karapetian should have run a retraction.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” and “Hayots Ashkhar” also describe the verdict as “illogical” and “inadequate.”