“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that President Robert Kocharian met with leaders of his loyal parliament majority on Friday and accused them of being “indifferent” to him. “Kocharian said that the number of speeches voiced against him from parliament and other podiums has sharply increased of late and that none of the forces considered to be his partners finds it necessary to defend him and deliver speeches with a corresponding content,” writes the paper.
“Kocharian has decided to solve the issue of his political future at the expense of everybody else,” former Foreign Minister Aleksandr Arzumanian tells “Aravot.” “He cares little about the fate of his former comrades-in-arms.” Arzumanian claims that Kocharian is not showing any willingness to hand over power to Serzh Sarkisian and the Republican Party, boosting instead the Prosperous Armenia party of oligarch Gagik Tsarukian. “Serzh Sarkisian, Aghvan Hovsepian and Andranik Markarian are beginning to realize that there is no room for them in the Kocharian projects,” he says. Arzumanian also believes that ex-speaker Artur Baghdasarian’s apparent switch to opposition “may somewhat revive the opposition movement.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Baghdasarian’s Orinats Yerkir as well as a number of other opposition groups have ignored offers of cooperation made by Raffi Hovannisian.
Another oppositionist, Aram Karapetian, publishes in “Iravunk” and “Aravot” an open letter to the head of the National Security Service, Gorik Hakobian, in which he wonders why the Armenian successor to the Soviet KGB suspects him of spying for a foreign intelligence service. “On the basis of what information is that investigation being conducted?” asks Karapetian. “Do you have an appropriate permission from the prosecutor’s office and the court to conduct that investigation?” He says the NSS has asked a local commercial bank for information on cash transfers from Moscow received by the leader of the Nor Zhamanakner (New Times) party.
“Even according to official data, about 40 percent of Armenia’s population receives external cash remittances and are therefore primarily hit hard by the ‘appreciation’ of the dram,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “The Armenian authorities have decided to wrest dollar cash, roughly estimated at 2-2.5 million dollars, from the population.”
“Take the Central Bank chairman’s advice and tell your relatives in America and Russia to send only drams,” “168 Zham” mockingly urges readers.