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Press Review


“Haykakan Zhamanak” says a “new majority” comprising the Republican Party (HHK), the People’s Deputy group and possibly the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) could emerge in the Armenian parliament soon. The People’s Deputy leader, Karen Karapetian, has already hinted at such possibility. The main purpose of that realignment would be to drive parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian’s Orinats Yerkir Party out of the “government pyramid.” Baghdasarian, for example, could be blamed for the National Assembly’s failure to make a quorum this week. “The HHK and Serzh Sarkisian may also benefit from fresh parliamentary elections,” claims the paper.

“The authorities are using black and obsolete techniques,” writes “Azg” in reference of to a very poor quality of this week’s state television broadcast of a parliament session. The session featured strongly-worded attacks on President Robert Kocharian from opposition lawmakers. “Those speeches did not contain anything extraordinary,” the paper says, adding that “those in charge of government propaganda” paid Kocharian a lip service by deliberately making the videotaped speeches inaudible.

“Azg” adds that, by contrast, the full transcript of Kocharian’s Monday meeting with university students was shown by state televisions and two private networks controlled by the president for two consecutive days and without any problems. The paper says this fact only lent credence to the opposition claims that Kocharian and his regime are suffering from an “illegitimacy complex.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” says members of Armenia’s National Academy of Sciences have told it that the decision evict the closed A1+ television from a building owned by the Academy was taken under pressure from Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian. But the paper believes that this can not justify the action. “Our intellectual elite seems to have grown accustomed to using the fact of being close to the government for the sake of their personal welfare.”

“Hayots Ashkhar” says that the United States is trying to “clinch additional concessions” from Turkey by threatening to use the word genocide in President George W. Bush’s upcoming April 24 message to the Armenian-Americans. The paper says the main concession sought by the Bush administration is the unconditional reopening of the Turkish-Armenian border. It says this tactic has sent the Turks panicking. Hence, their calls for the creation of a Turkish-Armenian commission of historians.

“Yerkir” is worried about the possibility of Turkish recognition of the genocide “without restoration of [Armenians’] rights.” “Turkey feels that the Armenian genocide weighs heavily on its foreign policy issues and wants to get rid of that burden without any losses,” writes the Dashnaktsutyun weekly. “Turkey is simply playing for time in the hope of making the recognition-without-compensation formula acceptable over time.”

(Anna Saghabalian)
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