"Orinats Yerkir" parliamentary faction member Hovannes Markarian tells "Haykakan Zhamanak" about his intention to ask the prosecutor's office to bring a criminal charge of libel against Shirak's Governor Romik Manukian, who is a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation - Dashnaktsutiun. Markarian considers that Manukian libeled him when in one of the previous issues of the paper he said that Markarian was convicted in the past for stealing milk powder received as humanitarian aid.
Noting that this dispute is likely to exacerbate the differences within the ruling coalition, the paper's analyst continues: "Hovannes Markarian is in for a disappointment when he finds that no criminal case is brought against Romik Manukian not only for political but also for legal reasons. Markarian himself admits that law-enforcement bodies later changed his status and he became a victim, but before that for a certain period of time he was in custody, and this fact is enough for Manukian's statement not to be viewed as an utter lie."
Looking ahead, "Aravot" predicts "a turning point" in national elections as according to the paper, young persons turning 18 will join the ranks of voters in the 2007/2008 elections, thus making them different from the previous ones. The paper suggests that these voters can be confidently considered as belonging to the post-Soviet generation, and are therefore qualitatively different voters insofar as they do not remember an era of "cheap sausage, free education and free medical services."
Considering it normal that this generation is concerned only about their own interests, "Aravot" concludes: "It is only unclear which political force is going to express their interest."
"Azg" describes the rising generation as "unreliable, cunning, selfish, false and egoistic," and adds that many of the younger generation have adopted consumerism as a way of life and have "an anti-national and anti-human mentality."
Human rights activist Vartan Harutiunian writes in "Haykakan Zhamanak": "The Soviet festivals have been restored. We have again become Russia's southern outpost, Chekists' day is marked officially, elections are formal as it was in the past, candidates and winners in elections are decided in advance, and the best thing we get is a one-candidate election, while the state is today's ruler." According to Harutiunian's definition, "we live with Soviet morals and mentality in this country which is proclaimed non-Soviet. And the tension in which we all are waiting for the promised revolution and an end of this reality, just like we waited for the collapse of the Soviet Union, is explicable against this background."
"I am expressing my dissatisfaction and my anger that Armenia's authorities stop short of categorically stating that we are with Russia for good. To continue like this would mean to create favorable conditions for various colored revolutions," Communist Party of Armenia First Secretary Ruben Tovmasian tells "Hayots Ashkharh."
"The parliament speaker's goodwill expressed in a couple of interviews is not enough for us to consider the Orinats Yerkir party a political partner," Suren Sureniants, a senior member of the opposition Hanrapetutyun party, emphasizes in an interview with "Aravot." "Orinats Yerkir must repent - that's one of the preconditions for cooperation between Orinats Yerkir and Hanrapetutyun," he adds. "We unequivocally evaluate the 2003 events and the current situation. If Orinats Yerkir repents its participation in those events and reconsiders its approaches to these issues, perhaps it could have its weight and role in politics and in the democratization of Armenia," Sureniants tells the paper.
"The competition among two mobile phone operators is acquiring a new quality as the stage of attracting customers begins. As K-Telecom prepares to enter the market, ArmenTel has decided to partially reduce cell phone tariffs, trying to narrow the field for the new operator," writes "Hayots Ashkharh", informing the public that beginning July 1, ArmenTel will reduce the cost of a minute's talk with the use of EASY cards from current 134 drams ($0.30) to 99 drams.