“Azg” says the lack of any official explanation of reasons for the dismissal of chief military prosecutor Gagik Jahangirian shows just how closed Armenia’s government system is. The paper likens individuals holding key positions in the government to a “caste.” The public, it says, is kept in the dark about “changes, appointments, dismissals in the positions highly important for the country.”
“After all, Gagik Jahangirian has stayed on as military prosecutor longer than was expected,” comments “Haykakan Zhamanak,” pointing to his key role in the criminal investigation into the 1999 parliament killings. “In effect, it crossed the mind of the investigative team headed by Jahangirian that Robert Kocharian may have also had a hand in the October 27 act of terror. Many link the suspension of the investigation into that theory to a change of the political situation in Armenia [in 2000] when Robert Kocharian managed to restore his status as a full-fledged president which had been shaken after October 27, 1999.”
The paper says many believe that Jahangirian was not fired shortly after that because he may have had compromising material against Kocharian. Its says his effective ouster suggests that Kocharian now “feels more secure than ever before.”
Citing government sources, “Aravot” reports that the Armenian government’s tax and customs departments may soon be merged into a single agency headed by Vahram Barseghian, chief of Kocharian’s Oversight Service. The paper claims that the controversial head of the State Customs Committee, Armen Avetisian, could then be appointed as chief of the national police. It also says Yerevan Mayor Yervand Zakharian is likely to replace Hovik Abrahamian as minister for local government. “The latter will be appointed minister of finance and economy,” concludes “Aravot.”
According to “Hayots Ashkhar,” the anticipated participation of Armenian oligarchs in next year’s parliamentary election will pose a greater threat to the current ruling coalition than to the opposition. “Armenia’s imperfect political field has to pick up the gauntlet thrown at it and establish itself through a struggle or face a ruin and pave the way to the formation of new forces that will not just talk about justice and morality but adhere to those sublime principles,” says the paper.
Opposition leader Stepan Demirchian assures “Golos Armenii” that his Artarutyun alliance continues to exist despite growing differences among its leaders. “The alliance exists, makes decisions and the [Demirchian-led] HZhK is doing its best to shore up it,” he says. “Voters trusted Artarutyun and the parties aligned in the bloc must be conscious of their responsibility.”