“Aravot” has an ironic take on the municipal elections in the Californian city of Glendale that has a sizable Armenian community, stressing the contrast between their peaceful conduct and chronic vote rigging in Armenia. “Of course, it is good that Armenians scored a victory in a single city but this fact is a bit insulting to us, residents of Armenia,” explains the paper. “Do we have to emigrate to be able, as an ethnic minority and opposition, to send our elected representative to a municipal governance body? Do we have to have to be as far away from our historical homeland as possible to be able to make a political career not by serving the regime but on the contrary by swelling the ranks of those opposed to the regime?”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” dismisses talk of an imminent handover of power from Robert Kocharian to Serzh Sarkisian. The paper wonders if the two men are “acting in covenant in this situation.” But it says some “processes” are going on within the ruling regime.
Dashnaktsutyun leader Vahan Hovannisian tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that political stability in Armenia can not last long unless “practical reforms” are implemented by the authorities. “Unfortunately, we still don’t have tangible achievements in that regard,” he says. Asked about the possibility of an anti-government uprising in Armenia, he says, “It is impossible to stop any process by force. One has to eliminate contributing causes and the government must resolve this problem.”
“The removal of this regime is a matter of dignity for our society,” opposition leader Stepan Demirchian tells “Ayb-Fe.”
“Iravunk,” for its part, claims that the Armenian authorities are “doomed to ouster.” But it at the same time laments the lack of “active opposition actions.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” attacks the opposition for seeking external support for regime change in Armenia. The paper says opposition leaders are even ready to exploit the new international peace proposals on Nagorno-Karabakh in their struggle against Kocharian. “They hope they will manage to win the trust of one of the competing foreign powers and get a chance to be used against the government.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the Armenian Prosecutor-General’s Office is refusing to reveal who paid for Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian’s new German-made car which is worth about $100,000. “A company selling such cars in Armenia belongs to the Gharibian family just like the Shant company which is known for its ice-cream. Like Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian, the Gharibians come from Aparan. Not surprisingly, the latter is often linked to the Shant company. The key thing here is the following. Is it true that the car in question was donated to Aghvan Hovsepian by the Gharibians? If so, isn’t that corruption?”
“If they gave it in good faith, then it’s not corruption,” “Haykakan Zhamanak” answers sarcastically. “But if they cursed [Hovsepian] while giving the car, then it is definitely corruption.”