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Press Review


(Saturday, October 23)

“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) has denied demanding more government posts from President Robert Kocharian at a meeting last week. The leader of the party’s parliament faction, Levon Mkrtchian, tells the paper that the Dashnaks are not pushing for personnel changes in government despite publicly voicing grievances at a recent news conference. Mkrtchian accuses the media of spreading “disinformation” about his party’s political ambitions.

Mkrtchian also comments on the planned “anti-terrorism” rally to be held by the Armenian opposition on Tuesday, on the eve of fifth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the Armenian parliament. “I do not consider the focusing of public attention on that phenomenon meaningless,” he says. “To my knowledge, it will be convened in connection with the fifth anniversary of the October 27 events. That was the greatest act of terror against Armenian statehood. In that context I have a normal attitude toward the rally.”

“Golos Armenii” comments that whereas the sometimes conflicting positions of Dashnaktsutyun and the two other ruling parties “fits into the framework of logic,” the behavior of the Armenian opposition is “incomprehensible.” The paper wonders why the National Unity Party of Artashes Geghamian has pointedly refused to join the Artarutyun rally and infers that if there is anything that unites the two opposition forces it is “the tactic of doing nothing.” “The radicals have left the battlefield and in order to justify their inactivity have made up an explanation that in case of a certain development of events regime change will be carried out with the help of other states. Our society pins no hopes neither on the ruling coalition nor on the opposition and is already trying to solve its problems on its own.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the court of first instance in Yerevan’s central Kentron district was deserted on Friday one day after several of its judges were accused by Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian of handing down illegal verdicts in disputes over municipal land. “The court’s corridors were empty and confusion was visible on the faces of court staff.” The chairman of the court, Zhora Vartanian, was said to be “depressed.”

“Of course, one can understand the plight of those judges,” “Haykakan Zhamanak” continues scathingly. “It is really hard for them to understand why this government which they have served obediently and have saved no effort to please is dealing a blow to them. But let us recall that the same judges subjected hundreds of people to administrative arrest for having their own political views, imprisoned people on fabricated charges and silenced political opponents of the regime. And what they probably fear the most now is to be dealt with by a judge like them.”

(Vache Sarkisian)
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