“Armenia has found itself in the status of an orphan whose uncles and aunts have gathered to decide what they can donate to that orphan,” “Haykakan Zhamanak” writes in an editorial on the Armenia-Diaspora conference. “Of course, there is nothing wrong with having a rich uncle. The bad thing is the status of orphan. Anyone who has given that orphan, say, 100 drams worth of food aspires to a decisive say in the determination of his or her future.”
“During such conferences our Diaspora Armenian friends call for the creation of a ministry of Diaspora in Armenia,” says “Aravot.” “Our government always gives them vague promise, safe in the knowledge it will never create one. Such a proposal was made during yesterday’s discussion too. Our Diaspora Armenian friends also want to get at least 10 percent of seats in Armenia’s parliament, even specifying how many seats the Armenians of a particular country need.”
“Taregir” reports that former President Levon Ter-Petrosian was not invited to the conference. Organizers invited Babken Ararktsian, a former parliament speaker close to Ter-Petrosian, instead. The paper quotes at the same time an Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying that conference participants did not require formal invitations.
“Hayk,” a pro-Ter-Petrosian newspaper which has resumed its publication after a seven-year break, reports on preparations for Thursday’s big military parade in Yerevan which will be dedicated to the 15th anniversary of Armenia’s declaration of independence. “They get ready in a very demonstrative manner, paralyzing the normal life of the capital’s center,” writes the paper. “One gets the impression that our borders today do not need defense and that the only purpose is to demonstrate Serzh Sarkisian’s might to Armenia’s ‘pitiful’ citizens.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” comments on attempts by the former ruling HHSh party to return to active politics. “Now that the weakening of the radical opposition and, contrary to that, the consolidation processes going on in the government camp are evident, the HHSh feels that the right moment to fill the opposition vacuum is coming up,” says the paper. It says the good thing about this is that the public might see “serious debates on ideas and programs” in the run-up to the parliamentary elections.
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” Armenian-born Russian political expert Andranik Markarian offers an unconventional view on the perceived “criminalization of political life” in Armenia. “It’s not bad when criminal elements that have gained property try to become civilized and move into the legal field,” reasons Migranian. “This is a normal and legitimate phenomenon.” But, he says, there is a catch: “Unfortunately, not all voters have sufficient financial and economic independence that would make them immune to the threat of becoming dependent on one or another force. This is what allows for vote buying in elections.”