(Saturday, October 2)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” deplores a lack of specifics at Friday’s news conference of leaders of the Dashnaktsutyun party during which they criticized the socioeconomic situation in Armenia and noted “dangerous distortions” from the democratization process. “Contrary to promises given before, Dashnaktsutyun did not propose ways out of the existing situation,” says the paper. “This fuzzy stance gives many people reason to presume that Dashnaktsutyun simply wants to get a place at the top of the plutocracy pyramid through blackmail … Time and again high-level Dashnaktsutyun representatives drop hints about [the need to sack] unspecified senior officials but lack the courage to publicly name any names.” This is tantamount to “covering up a crime,” according to the paper.
“Who are you complaining about?” a bewildered “Aravot” asks the Dashnaks in an editorial. The paper finds it “astounding” when a member of the ruling coalition publicly warns that government corruption is threatening stability in Armenia. Things must be really serious and it becomes clear that “there is no government in our country.” “Who is Dashnaktsutyun unhappy with? Corrupt officials? The president behind whose back those corrupt officials are hiding? And to whom are they complaining? To the society? To the journalists?” The paper too believes that the Dashnaks are not courageous enough to unmask corrupt officials and wonders what they want the Armenian public to do in such circumstances.
“Unlike Dashnaktsutyun, we, the majority of Armenia’s population, are not in government,” continues “Aravot.” “We can’t just go to Robert Kocharian and issue him with the ultimatum: either he promptly gets rid of individuals hiding behind his back or will face impeachment in parliament.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” notes wryly that the sexual orientation of Armenian politicians and government officials has eclipsed all other, more pressing issues such as electoral and constitutional reforms. And yet everyone realizes that the allegations made by an Armenian extremist are but a “bluff.” The paper disagrees with those who believe that the controversy is part of a government infighting, saying that it is simply “a mirror of the wretchedness of our political landscape.”
“Azg” attacks Russia for keeping its border with Georgia closed in the knowledge that the move is hitting Armenia hard. “This time Armenia is blockaded, albeit indirectly, by its strategic ally,” says the paper. “There is no doubt that Armenia and Russia are friendly states.” However, the latest Russian actions are not quite friendly.
“Golos Armenii” complains that the Russians see no difference between the Armenians and other Caucasian peoples. “Measuring all Caucasians with the same yardstick does not fit into the framework of the Armenian-Russian strategic partnership,” writes the Russian-language paper. “In recent years Russia’s influence in the South Caucasus is not increasing, to say the least. On the contrary, even in Armenia there is a growing number of organizations that are not carriers of Armenians’ traditional pro-Russian orientation. And that is not only the result of the West’s actions but also Russian steps leading to deadlock.”