(Saturday, August 28)
“Aravot” tells readers not to expect justice in the ongoing criminal investigation into last Tuesday’s beating of a photojournalist in the resort town of Tsaghkadzor. The paper suggests ironically that the man arrested in connection the assault will testify that he was collecting mushrooms in the local forest and didn’t want any infringement of his privacy. “The investigators and judges will pretend that they believe in those fairy tales, will fine the criminal a few pennies and will set him free.” As for the man’s master, parliament deputy Levon Sargsian, and deputy police chief Armen Yeritsian whose security guard reportedly provoked the beating, they will avoid even symbolic punishment.
“Hayots Ashkhar” believes that the Armenian opposition will avoid a repeat of its last spring’s drive for regime change this fall. “The opposition leaders are only left to speculate about the parliament’s imminent dissolution, viewing pre-term parliamentary elections as a spare option to overcome the crisis of confidence.” But the paper says this “plan to plunge the country into upheavals” is doomed to fail. It says President Robert Kocharian and his coalition are wise enough to steer clear of this “political adventure.”
“Throughout its existence the opposition has done nothing for the people,” writes “Golos Armenii.” It says the opposition has never been “close to the people.” “Especially when at stake were the people’s problems, not the opposition’s interests…The radicals have long proved that they are not fighting against the government and government abuses. They are against the president because they want to call a tender for his post.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” is disappointed with Friday’s meeting of the leadership of the opposition Artarutyun bloc, saying that it failed to unveil a new plan of actions.
But as one of the opposition leaders, Shavarsh Kocharian, tells “Aravot,” the opposition struggle against the ruling regime has not been “totally fruitless.” “For if we had allowed, Armenia’s would have a regime that would make it the envy of [Turkmenistan’s autocratic ruler Saparmurat] Turkmenbashi,” he says.
“One gets the impression that Armenia is becoming a decorative country,” “Hayots Ashkhar” observes grimly. “With a decorative National Assembly, decorative courts, decorative parties, decorative opposition, decorative leaders. A few more decorations and one will inevitably arrive at the conclusion that living in this country only means wasting time.”