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Press Review


(Saturday, March 11)

“Nuclear energy undoubtedly has no alternative in Armenia,” writes “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun.” “It is one of the main guarantees of our energy security.” Claiming the opposite is “unserious,” says the government paper.

Albert Bazeyan, the leader of the opposition National Revival Party, tells “Aravot” that President Robert Kocharian is extremely unlikely be forced to resign over an unpopular resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict just like his predecessor Levon Ter-Petrosian did in 1998. “Nothing can be ruled out, but I consider that scenario almost impossible,” he says. “For Robert Kocharian, there is nothing above power. He has done, is doing and will do everything to retain that power at any cost.”

Samvel Nikoyan, a senior lawmaker from the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), reveals to “Hayots Ashkhar” further amendments to Armenia’s electoral code that are planned to be enacted soon. Nikoyan says in particular that political parties represented in election commissions will likely be allowed to recall their members sitting on those bodies. The existing code does not give me such power.

“Haykakan Zhamanak” insists that Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian and the People’s Deputy parliamentary group are pressing ahead with the creation of a new political party despite their claims to the contrary. The paper says Hovsepian and People’s Deputy leaders have held a confidential meeting to discuss the issue. It says although the prosecutor will not be officially affiliated with the party he will certainly be its “papa.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports on former parliament speaker Babken Ararktsian’s Friday news conference. “I continue to believe that I bear responsibility for everything that exists,” Ararktsian said. “But you must understand that today we live in a closed society. It’s been eight years since I left the National Assembly but I have still not been able to speak on any TV channel since then. This is the situation we are in.”

“Golos Armenii” presents an analysis of the state of Armenia’s judiciary which it says is based on off-record interviews with various judges and court officials. “Judges are most afraid of Justice Minister David Harutiunian, controllers from the Justice Ministry, the Council of Justice, the president’s staff, the National Assembly,” writes the paper. “They are afraid of the prosecutor’s office, the National Security Service. Judges are afraid of executive authority bodies. Cases that deal with state interests are adjudicated in their favor, regardless of presented evidence and substance.” The paper quotes a trial attorney as saying that the only thing which Armenian judges do not fear is to hand down unfair verdicts.

(Hrach Melkumian)
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