“Aravot” editorializes that if President Robert Kocharian decides to seek a third term in office in 2008 he will easily find politicians and parties supporting his bid. “In essence, they are not political forces but bureaucrat-businessmen that have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo,” says the paper. “They are the ones who falsify all kinds of elections and referendums. All the courts, including the constitutional one, play to their tune. So if there is a desire to be a life president in countries like ours, all other issues [related to its realization] are merely logistical.”
“Sadly, it is no longer possible to achieve Armenia’s democratization by evolutionary means,” opposition leader Aram Sarkisian tells “Iravunk.” “The USA does not rule out revolutionary solutions to the issue because it has already understood that the evolutionary path is good for the incumbent authorities here that would simply prolong their rule to 2007 and 2008 and, if possible, further.
“Incidentally, this situation is beneficial for some oppositionists who have some agreements with the authorities whose ruling circles are promising to paint and give them some percentages in the 2007 elections,” Sarkisian adds without naming names. Armenians, he claims, do not want to wait until the next polls.
“There will never be a revolution in our country. We won’t allow it,” Prime Minister Andranik Markarian is quoted by “Aravot” as telling members of the Armenian community in Lithuania on Thursday. But the paper says Markarian was quick to add that “we will never spill the blood of our people.”
“Azg” reports that some newly elected members of the Karabakh parliament wondered on Thursday why there was only one candidate for the post of its speaker. “This can be considered a bad signal in the sense that further votes could follow the same non-competitive pattern,” comments the paper.
“Aravot” discusses the fact that a new luxury hotel in Yerevan was built by a company owned by senior Armenian officials but registered in Cyprus. “Why? The reason is very simple: foreign investors are exempt from [profit] taxes for five years. That means the owner of the [hotel called] Golden Palace has deceived his own state, inflicted damage on it, and all of that resembles money laundering. But law-enforcement agencies will not be dealing with that.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the headquarters of Armenia’s recently chosen second mobile phone operator will soon be moved to a building belonging to Transport and Communications Minister Andranik Manukian. The paper says the Lebanese-owned firm K-Telecom has already bought office space. It adds that the company’s expansion into Armenia is proving highly beneficial for both Manukian and Justice Minister David Harutiunian.