“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports an arson attack on its editorial offices which it says did not cause much damage. “We are deeply convinced that the man primary responsible for the incident is Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian,” charges the paper. “If the latter had dealt with his immediate duties, this crime would not have been committed.”
“Aravot” says a young Armenian-American singer, Gevorg Chamichian, was beaten up in Yerevan on Thursday after his car “dared to overtake” the limousine of Ruben Hayrapetian, a parliament deputy and wealthy businessman who leads the Armenian Football Federation. “The singer is now in hospital and will probably be unable to have a concert for which he arrived in Yerevan,” says the paper. The U.S. embassy in Armenia refused to comment on the incident, while Hayrapetian could not be reached for comment, according to it.
“Zhamanak Yerevan” says it has learned from “sources close to the presidential administration” that the Prosperous Armenia party of Gagik Tsarukian has offered the chairman of Armenia’s Constitutional Court, Gagik Harutiunian, to top the list of its candidates for next year’s parliamentary elections. The paper claims that Harutiunian has also been promised the post of president of the republic. “Gagik Harutiunian has not given a clear answer yet,” it says.
Shavarsh Kocharian, a veteran opposition lawmaker, tells “Iravunk” that President Robert Kocharian will not be a seeking a third term in office in 2008 and may be aiming for the post of prime minister instead. He says Robert Kocharian may therefore try to make sure that no political party wins a majority in the next National Assembly. He at the same time does not rule out the possibility of Kocharian taking a “five-year break.” “That scenario suggests that he must have clear guarantees. In that case, Kocharian will need not a fractured parliament majority but a dominant force that will be his guarantor,” concludes Shavarsh Kocharian.
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” Stepan Markarian, an aide to the Armenian prime minister, makes a case for giving the Armenian language the status of a second official language in Georgia’s Javakheti region. Markarian contends that this would only encourage the local Armenian population to learn Georgian. “Since Armenian is not allowed [for official use] now, people refuse to learn Georgian [on principle,]” he reasons. “But if there is a parallel use of the two languages, at least the section of the population whose ambitions go beyond farming will start learning Georgian as well in order to be able to work in the state system.”