Commenting on President George W. Bush’s latest April 24 statement, “Aravot” writes that “by failing to recognize the genocide the USA shows that it is not afraid of upsetting Armenia.” “In order for the USA to recognize the genocide one must first of all stop being a state that lives off money asked from the Americans,” it says.
“Iravunk” says “the number one event of last week” was a statement by 25 Armenian parties condemning the disruption of a rally organized by Aram Karapetian’s Nor Zhamanakner party. “Pro-government parties resorted to that action not without Robert Kocharian’s consent,” suggests the paper. Two of them, Orinats Yerkir and Dashnaktsutyun, are also taking an opportunity to indirectly attack Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian. “Under these circumstances, Serzh Sarkisian would benefit from any drastic destabilization of the internal political situation, which would enable him to press Robert Kocharian to promptly transfer power to himself.”
“The regime is beginning to lose its ability to rely on mobsters,” continues “Iravunk.” “Because the people, and the politicized youth in particular, are using force against force and establishing law and order.”
But in an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” Kocharian’s national security adviser, Garnik Isagulian, tries to rationalize the Sevan violence. Isagulian says it is “natural” to see some Armenians react angrily to someone who “pops up from abroad with money of dubious origin” and wants to buy his way to power.
Interviewed by “Aravot,” parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian denies rumors that he is considering defecting to the opposition camp. “The opposition has many leaders,” he says. “One is better than another. So naturally I have no ambition to become their top leader.”
But as independent parliament deputy Hmayak Hovannisian tells “Haykakan Zhamanak,” Baghdasarian is making overtures to the opposition because he has realized that he stands no chance of being picked as Kocharian’s successor. “He has calculated that in the atmosphere of mutual intolerance reigning in the opposition he will manage to take things under his control, using his unlimited populism,” says Hovannisian. “Besides, he is thereby blackmailing Kocharian into reconsidering his decision on the successor.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” also quotes opposition representatives as saying that they will never trust Baghdasarian. “The policy of 50-50 adopted by Baghdasarian and his party has suffered another fiasco,” concludes the paper.