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Press Review


(Saturday, May 28)

“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” editorializes that the mass dance around Mount Aragats will symbolize “the victory of national unity” as it is held on May 28, the 87th anniversary of the restoration of Armenian statehood.

“Haykakan Zhamanak” makes comparisons between the dance and the April 12-13, 2004 opposition demonstration in Yerevan that was dispersed by security forces. The paper says thousands of opposition supporters blocked a street in the city center and some of them danced there at the time. “But their dance was brutally quelled and the Armenian authorities pointed to the impermissibility of blocking a busy street and disrupting transport communication in the capital.” The circle dance will lead to a much greater disruption, with hundreds of kilometers of major highways closed for traffic. The paper says that runs counter to only Armenia’s law on public gatherings but the citizens’ constitutionally guaranteed freedom of movement.

“Some countries of the region are trying to pursue a policy of isolating Armenia,” writes “Golos Armenii.” “And if we fail to meet urgent challenges of time we will only have ourselves to blame and nobody else. History will not blame a minister, a prime minister, the opposition or the president. History will blame only the [present] generations.” Meeting those challenges, according to the paper, means ensuring Armenia’s and Karabakh’s prosperity.

“Hayots Ashkhar” similarly makes a case for “bolstering the internal unity of our society and our external resilience dependent on that.”

Armen Rustamian, a leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that Armenians may not trust the opposition but that does not mean a “revolution” can not happen in the country. “It can be ruled out only if we ensure an appropriate dynamics of development and reforms which will ease [public] discontent,” he says. “There is discontent today and that discontent is extremely stable.” Rustamian again voices Dashnaktsutyun’s unhappiness with the growing political clout of “apolitical forces” close to the ruling regime.

“Aravot” reports that the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe is “deeply dissatisfied” with President Robert Kocharian’s and his ruling coalition’s revised constitutional amendments. The paper says the Commission has concluded that most of its recommendations have not been accepted by the authorities. One of its members is quoted as calling for major changes in the constitutional draft.

(Hrach Melkumian)
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