“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that a car belonging to Artur Baghdasarian’s brother was impounded by traffic police last Saturday, the day after the Armenian parliament speaker decried rampant corruption among police officers and blocked a government bill calling for heavier fines for traffic rule violations. Armen Baghdasarian says his expensive SUV was surrounded by five police cars and escorted to a police station. “The way they approached me was very offensive,” he says, adding that the same happened to other senior members of Baghdasarian’s Orinats Yerkir Party.
“I no longer doubt that a revolution in Armenia will win,” opposition politician Aram Karapetian tells “Aravot.” “Starting from today, we will be preparing for pre-term parliamentary and presidential elections.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” finds the absence of a “serious” pro-Western opposition force in Armenia “paradoxical.” The paper sees only “groups of pro-Western opportunists” emerging as a result of growing American and European influence in Armenia. It calls into question their commitment to Western values.
“Unlike the print media, our television companies are not obliged to issue financial statements for some reason,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “Nobody knows how much a particular channel earns and spends and whether it is profitable or operates at a loss.” The paper says Armenia’s state television and private networks are bound by an unofficial deal with the authorities whereby they support the regime in return for being allowed to avoid taxes.
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that Culture Minister Hovik Hoveyan has decided to publish a book by his wife with 1.9 million drams ($4,200) in budgetary funds that were meant to be spent on publication of books for children. Those books were already ready to go to press when Hoveyan made the controversial decision.
“Aravot” reports on rumors that a restaurant and a travel agency will soon be opened in a historical Yerevan building that houses Armenia’s main history museum and art gallery. The paper quotes Prime Minister Andranik Markarian as expressing his strong opposition to the idea. “Naturally, no such issue has been discussed by the government,” he says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that as Markarian’s son Taron prepares to take over the administration of Yerevan’s Avan district his daughter Ani is competing the construction of a two-story cafe-restaurant for children. “Thus, the results of Andranik Markarian’s five-year prime minister activity are being exposed,” the paper comments tartly.