(Saturday, February 4)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” regards as “absurd” parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian’s refusal to allow Larisa Alaverdian, the former human rights ombudsperson, to present her second annual human rights report to the National Assembly. Baghdasarian ruled that the report must be released by her successor.
“Orinats Yerkir has found its next victim,” “168 Zham” comments on the decision by Baghdasarian’s party to choose Gevorg Gevorgian, director of Armenia’s largest and oldest film studio, as the new culture minister. The paper says Baghdasarian presented Gevorgian to the Orinats Yerkir board after securing President Robert Kocharian’s approval of the appointment.
“I have to closely examine the entire system,” Gevorgian tells “Aravot” about his immediate plans.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports on the mainstream political parties’ growing unease about the emergence of new political groups controlled by Armenian “oligarchs.” The paper says that in fact the latter’s entry into big politics took place “long ago.” “The process was legalized only after big businessmen decided to stop paying one or another party and to set up their own parties instead.”
Interview by “Hayots Ashkhar,” deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian takes issue with the argument that the Armenians already resolved the Karabakh conflict on the battlefield and that Azerbaijan should simply come to terms with that. “Armenia can not isolate itself from the outside world, resolve the conflict on its own and consider everything to be over,” he says.
“168 Zham” reports that the Armenian parliament’s foreign relations committee released on Friday a document outlining what it thinks should be the Armenian strategy on Karabakh. The paper notes that the commission headed by a leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Armen Rustamian, said nothing about “the impermissibility of a return of the liberated territories” surrounding Karabakh.
In an editorial devoted to the eighth anniversary of Levon Ter-Petrosian’s resignation, “Golos Armenii” says that the Armenians may have already lost Karabakh if they had accepted an internationally sponsored peace plan favored by their former president. “Time proves resignations right,” says the paper.
“Hayots Ashkhar,” another paper highly critical of Armenia’s former leadership, ridicules Ter-Petrosian supporters for remaining nostalgic about their years in power. The paper compares their feelings with popular nostalgia about the Soviet past. “Just like the Communists, they have turned the past into a source of sweet dreams and the future into a masochistic opportunity to continue those dreams,” it says.