A senior member of a new Armenian party reportedly sponsored by Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian tells “Iravunk” that the ongoing efforts to set up its branches across the country have run into “difficulties.” “We have received a slight knock in the belly,” says Levon Khachatrian. “Nobody personally struck [the Association for Armenia party.] It is the political situation that hit us.”
“Today the concept of elections is being officially almost eradicated in Armenia,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “The most active phase of that process is now underway. It is being decided in advance which political force has to win the elections. Accordingly, officials and oligarchs are swelling the ranks of that political force. There is no resistance. The opposition merely takes note of the situation, while the public is indifferent … Everyone understand that political life in Armenia exists only on newspaper pages.”
Gagik Melikian, a senior member of the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the HHK currently has 32,000 members and would have no trouble tripling the number if it wanted to. “For us, the size is not an end in itself,” he explains. Melikian also says that the HHK will be seeking to win an absolute majority of seats in parliament in next year’s elections. “I think the HHK is capable of achieving this objective,” he says.
“All parties are seriously preparing for the elections, and it is natural for them to start regrouping and restructuring as soon as possible,” Hrayr Karapetian, the parliamentary leader of another governing party, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), tells “Iravunk.” But, says Karapetian, Dashnaktsutyun is worried about the fact that “financial levers tend to increasingly turn into political levers in Armenia.”
“Aravot” reports that more than 400 citizens of Armenia have already appealed to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Most of them did so last year. The paper says the court has so far agreed to rule only one of the applications and asked the Armenian government to provide clarifications on 25 other cases. A court official is quoted as saying that the Strasbourg court will decide in the next six months whether to hold hearings on the closure of Armenia’s A1+ television station.
Mikhail Baghdasarian, the owner of the Armavia airline, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that Russian investigators have concluded that although a traffic controller at Sochi airport committed mistakes, he was not the main reason for the May 3 crash of an Armavia passenger jet. “Although the controller contributed to the accident, I too believe that it would be wrong to say that he is primarily to blame for the accident,” he adds. Baghdasarov also says he does not plan to sell Armavia in the immediate future despite serious financial losses suffered by Armenia’s flagship carrier.