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Press Review


“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian as confirming reports that senior members of his Nig-Aparan organization and the People’s Deputy parliamentary group are considering setting up a political party. “There is public demand in such party,” he says. But Hovsepian indicates that he will not officially join and lead it. “Despite this, it is Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian who will obviously be the leader of the party to be created soon,” comments the paper.

“168 Zham” presents details of the controversial police search conducted in the Yerevan apartment of Orinats Yerkir lawmaker Gagik Avetian. “A certain part of the parliamentarians are of the opinion that all of this is a political farce,” says the paper. Deputy parliament speaker Vahan Hovannisian is quoted as saying that while he is unaware of all circumstances of the incident he finds it unacceptable for police to “burst into any deputy’s home in such a way.”

“If they entered my home, I would shoot from my gun because they would trespass my untouchable territory,” another deputy, Manuk Gasparian, tells “Aravot.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” speculates that the police actions may mean Orinats Yerkir leader Artur Baghdasarian is not President Robert Kocharian’s preferred candidate to succeed him in 2008. The paper calls the scandal the “first public clash between Orinats Yerkir and the government,” saying that the latter is resorting to methods which it usually takes against opposition parties.

“The police did not refute Gagik Avetian’s claims that his apartment was searched without an appropriate court decision,” notes “168 Zham.”

“Feudalism has deeply entrenched itself in our blood,” writes “Aravot.” “Obviously, there is no separation of powers in a feudal system. In our case, what is called a parliament, court, prosecutor’s office, commission, ombudsman are mere divisions of a royal institution. An ombudsman is an ombudsman in [countries like] Norway.” Armenia’s “king,” the paper says figuratively, can easily fire anyone who does not play to his tune.

According to “168 Zham,” a survey conducted by the U.S. media support group IREX found that Armenians are “moderate television viewers,” with only up to 60 percent of Yerevan residents watching TV every day. “Another interesting fact is that there is no leader in the TV market. There are many contenders for the status of the most watched program.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Armenia’s main TV stations continue to illegally advertise vodka and other alcoholic drinks and face no sanction from the regulatory National Commission on Television and Radio. “The authorities are doing everything to let the TV companies and their masters enrich themselves, especially with illegal revenues. Such blatant illegalities and lots of money generated by them make the TV companies extremely controllable. We won’t be surprised if it turns out that quotas for vodka advertising are set at the presidential palace.”

(Hrach Melkumian)
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