“Zhamanak Yerevan” dismisses as “a bit odd” former parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian’s calls for the creation of a broad-based “movement for legitimate elections” in Armenia. “The public can immediately scoff at this proposal, having reason to at least cast doubt on the honesty of Artur Baghdasarian and his supporters,” comments the paper. It claims that Baghdasarian’s Orinats Yerkir first won seats in parliament in 1999 because “Serzh Sarkisian wished so.” “An Orinats Yerkir congress in 2003 was chanting ‘Robert president!’ and thereby applauding all those vote falsifications with which the illegitimate regime reproduced itself.” The paper also alleges that Orinats Yerkir benefited from fraud reported in the 2003 presidential elections and recalls Baghdasarian’s silence during the 2004 government crackdown on the opposition.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that there are mounting tensions in the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) over the list of its candidates for next year’s parliamentary elections. The paper says Prime Minister Andranik Markarian and parliament speaker Tigran Torosian are the only “real Republicans” in the tentative list of the HHK’s top 15 candidates. The others are mainly new figures that joined the party this summer with Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian.
Aram G. Sargsian, leader of the opposition Democratic Party, stressed in “Aravot” the need for the creation of an “anti-criminal alliance.” “At the heart of everything taking place in Armenia is an illegal distribution of property,” he says. “People who acquired property at knockdown prices in the past are now infiltrating the government in the same fashion to try to divide both property and power.
Citing a Russian newspaper report, “Aravot” says Armenia’s leadership is considering sacking Environment Minister Vartan for misuse of public funds and frequent visits to casinos where he allegedly “spends large sums.” The paper says Armenian entrepreneurs dealing with the Environment Ministry are increasingly incensed by “Ayvazian’s growing unpredictability.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” continues to comment on what it see as an increase in the number of contract killings committed in Armenia. “Identifying and tracking down perpetrators of contract killing is really not an easy task in the operational sense,” says the paper. “But it is not impossible, especially in a country like Armenia, to identify and catch the masterminds.”