“Aravot” adds to reports that the pistol from which the mayor of Nor Hajn, Armen Keshishian, shot dead a man on Saturday was presented to him by Prime Minister Andranik Markarian. “The murder in Nor Hajn is not the only crime committed over the past year with a personal weapon presented by Prime Minister Andranik Markarian,” the paper writes, listing those crimes. “After recalling these facts, one is left to ask the prime minister to publicize the names of those individuals whom he gave personal weapons so that they at least can be held in check,” it concludes tartly.
Markarian, meanwhile, answers questions sent to him by readers of ‘Golos Armenii.” One of them wonders if he plans to run for president in 2008. “It is early to talk about,” replies Markarian. “We will first hold parliamentary elections.”
Markarian also gave an interview to Armenian state television and it is presented by “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun.” “Thank God, there have been no very serious violations,” he says in reference to the ongoing local elections. Markarian also complains that his 27-year-old son has kept him even busier since being elected as prefect of Yerevan’s Avan district. “I can’t take rest at home. I am dealing more with his community than family affairs,” he says.
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian admits that the Armenian authorities have yet to clearly explain to “hundreds of thousands of people” why they should vote for President Robert Kocharian’s constitutional amendments. “Therefore, propaganda is today no less important than the work that has been done until now,” he says.
“The elections of local government bodies were a rehearsal of the falsification of the constitutional referendum to an extent necessary [for the ruling regime],” a senior member of the opposition People’s Party of Armenia (HZhK), Stepan Zakarian, tells “Aravot.” He says that rehearsal has been “somewhat successful.”
“I declare that the elections in Kentron were not legitimate and that [their official winner] Gagik Beglarian was backed only by his mob,” the opposition candidate in the poll, Ruzan Khachatrian, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak.”
According to “Haykakan Zhamanak,” not only did Russian-Armenian businessman Ara Abrahamian admit on Wednesday engaging in “illegal activities” in Armenia but also made it clear that he is “ready to continue those activities.” The paper alludes to his financial assistance to Armenian parties, which is not allowed by Armenian law because Abrahamian is a foreign citizen. It suggests mockingly that perhaps “benefactor statesmen” like Ara Abrahamian should be considered “above the law.”
“168 Zham” quotes Ruben Hakhverdian, a popular Armenian bard and singer, as telling university students in Yerevan that he sees “no difference whatsoever between the present and former authorities.” “It’s just that these guys are more ignorant than their predecessors,” he said. “Their ignorance has no limits.”