(Saturday, December 4)
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” Dashnaktsutyun leader Armen Rustamian blames Armenia’s former leadership for “today’s unsatisfactory pace of development.” Rustamian says former President Levon Ter-Petrosian and his Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh) are able to make news headlines because they never faced a universal condemnation of their eight-year track record in government. But he is confident that they stand no chance of returning to power.
“The greatest wave of emigration from Armenia occurred during Ter-Petrosian’s rule,” Rustamian adds, dismissing the ex-president’s attacks on the current government. “The current authorities have been dealing with consequences [of HHSh rule] since 1998. Yes, unfortunately they have failed to radically break that inertia because economic development has not reached a desirable level.”
“Ter-Petrosian’s return to the public political arena is already a reality,” trumpets “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “Political forces are sort of regrouping in accordance with the fact that there is a new player in the political field.” The paper claims that only Ter-Petrosian can preside over a triumph of democracy in Armenia by virtue of being “the legitimate and recognized leader of liberal democratic forces.” It says the leaders of Armenia’s mainstream opposition are unable to take on that role as they have failed to overcome “the Moscow complex” and have a different value system.
“Golos Armenii” agrees that the opposition Artarutyun alliance the National Unity Party are to blame for Ter-Petrosian’s apparent political revival.
“It is the emptiness of the opposition camp that is the cause of internal political tensions,” Ruben Hayrapetian, a parliament deputy and businessman, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “As long that camp is vacant these tensions will not ease.” Hayrapetian also complains about “the atmosphere of impunity” and admits that Armenians “have begun hating the rich.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” comments on the launch of a criminal investigation into the arson attack on its editor Nikol Pashinian’s car. The paper notes that news of the inquiry, conducted by Yerevan’s police department, was announced by Armenia’s Office of Prosecutor-General. “This has to do with existing disagreements between various government factions,” it claims.
“It is still unclear why the police were initially indicating that they are not willing to investigate any theory other than their theory about [the car’s] self-ignition,” says “Aravot.” “This allows us to suggest that the prosecutor’s office is not at all interested in solving the crime and is doing everything to cover it up.”