(Saturday, November 13)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” compares the unexpected sacking of Armenia’s National Security Service chief Karlos Petrosian to the Soviet-era practice of relieving senior officials of their duties “at their own request” or “for health reasons.” The public still does not know why Petrosian was fired, with government officials refusing to comment on the move’s possible motives. “Even the country’s prime minister has effectively admitted that he was not informed of its reasons. The cause of all of this is that everyone seems to have come to terms with the fact that the country’s government system is divided into plots,” owned by President Robert Kocharian and other government factions. They regard those “plots” as their exclusive zones of influence.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the failure of a new round of the government-opposition confrontation to come about this autumn has given rise to bitter squabbles inside either camp. “As a result of that both the government forces and the oppositionists seem to have forgotten about the existence of the opposite camp and are busy achieving a more tangible objective.” That objective, according to the paper, is complete control over their respective camps. It is essential for being competitive “in the next stages of political struggle.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” adds that the most popular method in that struggle is “our traditional cheating.” “Everyone cheats everyone, everywhere and on every issue.” But whereas the political intrigues inside the government are somehow restrained by Kocharian, “there is not even an arbiter in the opposition camp where rules of the game are consequently breached all the time.”
“Azg” cites the findings of an opinion poll in Yerevan to try to clarify “how credible our ‘elected’ government is.” The poll found that the vast majority of city residents have never sought assistance from their supposedly elected representatives in government.
“Theoretically, Kocharian can take steps to restore public trust,” comments “Haykakan Zhamanak.” The paper says that could be done through the dissolution of parliament and fresh elections. “But holding free and fair elections is not beneficial both for him and the [parliament] majority supporting him. In this sense, the fate of Kocharian’s rule does not depend on him at all. It depends on circumstances, the opposition and the determination of certain politicians. Kocharian’s rule now resembles a besieged and deserted fortress. And the fall of that fortress depends on only one thing: will there be a statesman who would give an attack order or that fortress will continue to rot from within?”