“Hayk” takes a skeptical look at the passage of the French bill criminalizing denial of the Armenian genocide. “Some will say that this is a victory of historical justice,” writes the newspaper of the former ruling HHSh party. “Some will rush to say that Armenian diplomacy has registered another brilliant success, while others will again start claiming that our lands will be taken from the Turks and given back to us. In reality, the decision made by the French parliament once again demonstrates that part of French society is categorically against Turkey’s membership in the European Union.”
“Yerkir” commends French lawmakers for ignoring “false information and false threats” emanating from Turkey. “The same thing happened in 2001 when the French parliament was debating a bill condemning the Armenian genocide,” writes the paper. “The situation is the same today.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” finds “unexpected” Karabakh President Arkady Ghukasian’s announcement that he will not be seeking a third term in office next year. The paper links the move to domestic political developments in Armenia, saying that Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian and his loyalists are still not sure that President Robert Kocharian will leave office in 2008. It claims that Kocharian is not quite enthusiastic about the prospect of Sarkisian succeeding him in less than two years from now. Kocharian is said to be hoping to create a sense that his exit would lead to government infighting and even “bloodshed.”
“Aravot” editorializes that next year’s parliamentary elections will not really be elections. “The year 2007 is expected to see a technical evaluation of the real correlation of the existing apolitical and criminal clan forces,” editorializes the paper. It says the elections will determine “which criminal and economic groups hold sway in Armenia.” The polls should also clarify whether Armenia will be governed by Kocharian or Sarkisian.
“Iravunk” says that by prosecuting parliament deputy Hakob Hakobian the Armenian authorities want to show the public that they are bringing “criminal elements” into line. “Even though Hakob Hakobian can be considered a very modest person compared to many of those who will vote for his arrest, it is possible to draw political dividends from his political persecution,” says the paper.
“Hayots Ashkhar” complains that Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian will have to give lawmakers detailed explanations for his desire to “punish a thief.” “Despite compelling evidence submitted by the prosecutor-general, the deputies citing the need to combat crime day and night will do everything to prevent the crime from being followed by punishment,” predicts the paper.