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Press Review


“168 Zham” reports that the outgoing parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian is trying to convince opposition lawmakers to surrender their mandates. “This is Artur Baghdasarian’s only chance to have a place in the opposition camp,” says the paper. “In reality, the purpose of the move is to demonstrate to the people and the opposition that he is the charismatic leader which the opposition has long failed to find. But Baghdasarian has realized that abandoning the post [of speaker] is not enough to achieve that and he needs one more step that would enable him to be the number one figure in the opposition camp.”

Opposition leader Aram Sarkisian, meanwhile, assures “Aravot” that Armenia will see a fresh presidential ballot before next year’s legislative polls. Sarkisian also indicates that he is ready to cooperate with Baghdasarian against the ruling regime. “The more governing forces become an opposition the better,” he says. “The Hanrapetutyun party has stated clearly that the only way to resolve problems in this country is a revolutionary one, while Artur Baghdasarian has tried to prove that there exist evolutionary ways of resolving problems. Here is the result. I think he too is now convinced that … the only way is a revolutionary one.”

“Orinats Yerkir will now operate in absolutely new conditions,” political expert Aleksandr Iskandarian tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” He says Baghdasarian would be wrong to think that he can become the Armenian equivalent of ex-Soviet revolutionary leaders like Mikhail Saakashvili and Viktor Yushchenko.

“Maybe the sinking ship is not Orinats Yerkir but the political coalition led by Kocharian,” “168 Zham” suggests in another comment. “In that case, it means that it is Orinats Yerkir that left the sinking ship … What is the point of standing by someone whose actions could have severe consequences?”

“Hayots Ashkhar” laments what it sees as a lack of genuine political “elite” in Armenia. “Armenia has lost its elite,” editorializes the paper. “What we have is a surrogate, an ugly look-alike, a false elite. We could tolerate that if it did not impose on the society its ideas of life values. That is why everything is so unnatural here.”

“Hayots Ashkhar” also reacts negatively to Wednesday’s election of Radik Martirosian, the former rector of Yerevan State University, as president of Armenia’s National Academy of Sciences. The paper tartly describes it as “yet another evidence of the Academy members’ acute instinct of self-preservation.” “Not only does the election of Academy president fail to overcome a truly systemic crisis that has plagued national science but is becoming its new, more vivid proof.”

“The Academy was and will remain a moribund body,” agrees “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “Not because Radik Martirosian has been elected its president, but because the election centered on individuals, rather than concepts for the Academy’s development.”

(Hrach Melkumian)
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